Skip to main content

Full text of "Europe"

See other formats




c cc 






<1 cc 

5t c c <: 



f«^ 






ccc<: 



tccc 



iM 



m 






^^ 






i mCUAELS COLLBOB 



;c:c.«s 



HI 



€S: C£< 




3« 



H I C EST LIB E R M E U S , f 

TESTES EST DE US; 
„ SI QUIS ME QUERIT, 
HIC NOMEN ERIT./ 



} 

-y.3 ^5i^ 







■ M^/Sy^ 



^ «: f 






f ^e 



- ^ «^ ^ 



<? 



c^lT^C 



^c:^ 



CCCC 






c^ cc < 


F cc 


^^^^< 


C<.C^ 


L^ ^ 


<; ^^!~- 


<^ .^>^ 


1^ c-c 


^^"^ '^ 




^ nc 


^J'^ 






^ii 


<S^ 




v*-^ 


\^^ 


^^ 




^ 


II 


< c c: 


c'^^ 


^cc^ 


1 c<s 


fe 


<co 

- < c c 


c CO 


t% 








''f < ^ 






^^ 



-< c «^ ; 






W^FT(i 


r C5C ^ C: 


^ ^ar 


1^ C<L<C <^ 




r <^ <&r < 


i^- ^2 


j^ <r<i <3£. « 


■^<£" _._^^^ 


^ ^cx: <c «<^ 


^S^' 




^^ 


^^(* 


^^^" " 


CKL <^ t 


^ 


emi 




^Bw.— 


— .^^ ' iK'i flc 


c <c:. 


^ s-^ 


f <5«:_ 


.^^^«-^i 


^ 


^^^^ 


CSC 

(3r 


<jCjC^ 



c< ^ <^^ ' 



<rc: 



<<: <c < 

cc cc 

■•OC^'cC '< 
dC OL c 

crc< <c <<? 



G c< 




% ^^<-' <: 


c < 
c < 


<cc^ 




<> ^^ c t « 


c c 


CO 


cc 


^<^cc< 


C C< 


f cc 


> Km 


^C^ccxT 


*- c 


C3Ci 


c 


<r<cc<^ 


c cv 


dC: 


CSC 


«:< cc d 


-■ 0^ <■ 


crc 


oc 


j^c cc <r 


'<r 




CC 


^^<r cc «^ 


■4rr 






.<\ <:<<zc 



c cc c: c 



c rc ■ 






^«..<;<::ccc: 



^^« 



^it:c 



^liiCx 






C^^l- 






-<7-*- 



^<-~ .CCC._^i*' 






I 



Ct:C<r 
a:c<2: 



cc: 

t 



a 



^^^ ^<:^::c c«:. 

^^^c<zcc:*r ^K 

- ^' «t^ ^- «r^ c2SS^ 

c<: jCT' cc c^ V. 
c£ <<si < cc c:< — 



,^:^-^ 






CXI < 



cccjc: 

cc vcaCT 



^c 



:ir^ 



^S 






^^^ 



^^<^ 



<^ Cc c^ 



^.^ ccc ^ 



%% 



«iCC 












^^'s 



STUDENTS LIBRARY 



^NTO. 



UEI?ARY 








Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/europetheworld04recluoft 




w 






J( 









:'»^% 



"I; f •C: 








K<c 



■M^^S 









,5-. 







^ 



^'^:x 











"7 |\ 






^^f ^^ -^ 



\ 







C 3 



H- I 



; % 




H- 



Hi I 






Inllllfll 



i .-ii 



II 



U'JIfilliliJ 



THE 



EAETH AND ITS INHABITANTS 



EUROPE. 



BY 



fiLISEE RECLUS. 



EDITED BY 

E. G. RAYENSTEm, F.R.G.S., F.S.S., Etc 



VOL. IV. 

THE BRITISH ISLES. 





r 


n 




^ilf\--^^^?^» 


1 f;„ 


-. 


x^ 


Ym^^^iiLt^- b 


\/V 






[•^.- 


1 


pt J| 1 j;' L 




''^J 


\3\ 


X 


y 




t;^ 





ILLUSTRATED BY NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS AND MAPS. 



NEW YORK: 
D. APPLETON AIN^D COMPANY, 

1, 3, AND 5 BOND STREET. 




JUN 7 1956 



CHAP. 



CONTENTS. 

VOL. IV. 



PAGE 



I. General Featurks 1 

The British Seas, p. 3. Geology and Surface Features, p. 7. Rivers and Lakes, p. 15. 
Climate, p. 17. Flora, p. 23. Fauna, p. 27. Inhabitants, p. 28. 

II. WAi,Ti"8 AND Monmouthshire. 46 

General Features, p. 46. The Welsh People, p. 55. 
Topography. — Flint, p. 58. Denbigh, p. 60. Carnarvon, p. 61. Anglesey, 62. Merioneth, 
p. 64. Montgomery, p. 65. Cardigan, p. 66. Pembroke, p. 67. Carmarthen, p. 69. 
Glamorgan, p. 69. Monmouth, p. 72. Brecknock, p. 73. Radnor, p. 74. 

III. The Cornish Pkninsula 75 

General Features, p. 75. 
Topograph]) — CoruM-all, p 84. Devonshire, p. 87. 

IV. The Basin of the Severn and the Bristol Channel, .96 

General Features, p. 96. 
Topography. — Shropshire, p. 101, Worcester, p. 104. Warwick, p. 105. Gloucester, p. 111. 
Hereford, p. 117. Somerset, p. 119. 

V. The Channel Slope 122 

General Features, p. 122. 
Topography. — Dorset, p. 131. Wilts, p. 132. Hampshire, p. 136, Sussex, 141. 

VI. The Basin of the Thamf.s ............. 146 

General Features, p. H6. 
Topography. — Oxford, p. 153. Berkshire, p. 157. Buckingham, p. 161. Hertford, p. 162. 
Middlesex, p. 164. London, p. 165. Surrey, p. 199. Kent, p. 202, Essex, p. 209. 

VII. East Anglta 212 

General Features, p. 212. 
Topography.— ^\xSQ\\i. p. 211. Norfolk, p. 216, 

VIII. The Basin of the Wash 220 

General Features, p. 220. 
Topography. — Bedford, p. 224. Huntingdon, p. 225. Cambridge, p. 225. Northampton, p. 227. 
Rutland, p. 2^8. Lincoln, p. 228. 

IX, The Basin of the Hvmrer 233 

General Features, p. 233, 
To;jo/7r«joA«/.— Stafford, p. 238. Derby, p. 242. Leicester, p. 244. Nottingham, p. 245. 
Yorkshire, p. 246. 

X. The Basins of the Mersey and the Ribble 261 

General Features, p. 261. 
Topojraphy . — Cheshire, p. 262, Lancashire, p. 265. 



j^ CONTENTS. 

PAGK 

'xL The North of England, the Cumbhian Mountains, the B.sins of the Eden, the Tees, ^_^ 

AND THE TyNE 

General Features, p. 279, oon x- n v. 

Topography.-We^imove\2.u^, p. 284. Cumberland, p. 286. Durham, p. 289. Northumber- 
land, p. 293. 

299 
XII. The Isle of Man 

XIII. Southern Scotland ; * „ ' t i i " "^ 

General Features, p. 302. Surface Features, p. 1303. Coasts, p. 306. Eivers, p. 806. Islands, 

p. 307. Inhabitants, p. 309. 
rojoo^;-«jo%.-Durnfries,p.313. Kirkcudbright, p. 313. Wigtown, p. 314. Ayr, p. 314. Bute, 
p 315. Lanark, p. 315. Eenfrew, p. 319. Dumbarton, p. 320. Peebles, p. 322. Selkirk, 
p' 322. Roxburgh, p. 322. Berwick, p. 323. Haddington, p. 325. Edinburgli, p. 325. 
Linlithgow, p. 328. Stirling, p. 329. Clackmannan, p. 329. Kinross, p. 330. Fife, p. 331. 

333 

XIV. Northern Scotland 

General Features, p. 333. Mountains, p. 335. Glaciation, p. 337. Fuths and Lochs, 
p. 339. Islands, p. 343. Orkneys, p. 343. Shetland Isles, p. 345. Hebrides, p. 346. 
Climate, p. 353. Flora and Fauna, p. 354. The People, p. 355. 
Topography.— Vevih., p. 362. Forfar, p. 364. Kincardine, p. 366. Aberdeen, p. 367. Banff, 
p. 371. Elgin, p. 371. Nairn, p. 371. Inverness, p. 371. Ross and Cromarty, p. 373. 
Sutherland, p. Wo. Caithness, p. 376. Orkneys and Shetlands, p. 377. Argyll, p. 377. 

XV. Ireland ^"'^ 

General Features, p. 378. Surface Features, p. 379. Geology, p. 380. Mountains, p. 380. 
The Central Plain, p. 386. Lakes, p. 387. Bogs, p. 389. liivers, p. 390. Clim.te, p. 394. 
Flora and Fauna, p. 395. The People, p. 396. 
roi?o^m/)%.—LEiN8TER.— Dublin, p. 411. Louth, p. 414. Meath, p. 414. Westmeath, 

p. 415. Longford, p. 415. King's County, p. 415. Queen's County, p. 415. Kildare, 

p. 416. Wicklow, p. 416. Wexford, p. 417. Carlow, p. 417. Kilkenny, p. 417. 
Ulster.— Down, p. 418. Antrim, p. 420. Londonderry, p. 422. Tyrone, p. 423, Armagh, 

p. 423. Monaghan, p. 423. Cavan, p. 424. Fermanagh, p. 424. Donegal, p. 424. 
Connaught.— Leitrim, p. 425. Roscommon, p. 425. Galway, p. 425, Mayo, p. 427. 

Sligo, p. 427. 
MuNSTER.— Clare, p. 427. Limerick, p. 428 Kerry, p. 429. Cork, p. 430. Waterfoid, 

p. 433. Tipperary, p. 434. 

XVI. Statistics of the United Kingdom 436 

Population, p. 436. Agriculture, p. 443. Mining, p. 451. Manufactures, p. 456. Com- 
merce, p. 460. Social Condition, p. 469. 

XVII. Government and Administration 475 

APPENDIX: Statistical Tables 487 

I. Area and Population 487 

II. Agricultural Statistics of the British Isles 494 

III. Imports of Merchandise into the United Kingdom classified 496 

IV. Exports of British Produce classified . . . • . . • . ,497 
V. Imports and Exports according to Countries 498 

VI. Trade of the Principal Ports, 1879 600 

VII. Statistical View of the British Empire 502 

INDEX 505 

Note. — On a comparison of this volume with the corresponding French one, it will be found that not 
only have ninety additional illustrations been inserted in the text, and four coloured maps added, but 
that the text itself has been expanded to the extent of nearly one hundred pages. It was thought that a 
work intended for English readers should furnish information on the British Isles somewhat more full than 
that given for the countries of Continental Europe. The Editor, in making these additions, has taken 
care to preserve the character of M. Reclus's original work. He has occasionally enlarged upon matters 
only slightly touched upon by the French author, and expanded more especially the topographical 
portion of the work, but he has carefully abstained from intruding his own opinions when these were not 
quite in accord with the views held by the Author. — E. G. R. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



VOL. IV. 



MAPS PEINTED m COLOUES. 



1. British Islands; Physical , Frontispiece. 

2. „ Geological 

3. „ Political . . . . 

4. The Overland Route to Australia 



46 
138 



5. London and the Estuary of the Thames 

6. Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth 

7. Dublin Bay 

8. The North Atlantic Ocean . 



PAGE 

165 
325 
411 
430 



PLATES. 



Pass of Llanberis . . . To face page 48 
Carnarvon Castle . . . . . .62 

Torquay, as seen from Land's End ... 90 

Rocks at Ilfracombe 95 

Shrewsbury — House of the Sixteenth Century 101 

Warwick Castle 106 

CliflPs east of Dover 130 

Isle of Wight— Lake at Bonchurch . .141 

Oxford— High Street 154 

"Windsor Castle 160 

London— The Royal Exchange . . .175 
„ The Houses of Parliament, as seen 

from Lambeth . . . .185 

Canterbury Cathedral 206 

Ely, from the Banks of the Ouse . . . 227 
Ham Rock, Dovedale . . • . .241 
Ruins of Fountains Abbey . . . .253 

Liverpool Docks 272 

Derwentwater 288 



Loch 



Durham Cathedral . . . To face pagc^ 291 
Loch Lomond and Men. Lomond, as seen from 

Inchtavannah 
The Port of Glasgow 
Edinburgh, from Calton Hill 
Holyrood Palace and Arthur's 
The Caledonian Canal 
Eilan Donan Castle— Loch 

Duich . . 

Isle of Skye— the Kilt Rock 
Fingal's Cave, Isle of Staffa 
Ruins of lona Cathedral and Oran's Chapel 
Loch Katrine— Ellen's Island, as seen from the 

Silver Strand 364 

Pass of Glencoe 377 

Typical Irish ....... 396 

Vale of Glendalough 401 

Limerick— Thomond's Bridge and King John's 

Castle 429 




306 
319 
326 
327 
333 

346 
347 
352 
357 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN TEXT. 



ENGLAND AND WALES. 

1 . The North Sea 

2. The Strait of Dover and the EngUsh 

Channel 

3. The Irish Sea 

4. Cotidal Lines .... 

5. Section from Snowdon to the East oj 

England 

6. Geological Map of South-Eastern Eng 

land ...••• 

7. The Stack Ro.ks, South Wales 

8. Plymouth Sound and the Hamoaze . 

9. Comparative Size of some British and 

Foreign Lakes .... 

10. The River Basins of the British Isles 

1 1. Isothermal Lines for July and January 

12. Diagram exhibiting the Annual March of 

Temperature .... 

13. Rain Map of the British Isles . 
U. Yuccas on Tresco (Scilly Islands) 

15. An English Homestead 

16. The Giant's Quoit at Lanyon, near 

Penzance ..... 

17. Gaels and CjTnri . . . • 

18. The British Colonies 

19. Arundel Castle • Interior Quadkangle 

20. View of Snowdon 

21. Snowdon 

22. The Brecknock Beacons . 

23. Erosive Action on the Coast of South 

Wales 

24. Effects of Erosion on the Coast of 

South Wales: thb Huntsman's 
Leap 

25. The Suspension Bridge, TMenai Strait 

26. The Britannia Tuhular Bridge 
27- The Bridges over Menai Strait 

28. Linguistic Map of Wales 

29. The Sands of the Dee, from abov 

Bagilt ..... 

30. Remains of Vallb Crucis Abrey 
3L Holyhead Harbour .... 

32. Harhour of Refuge, Holyhead . 

33. On the Dee, near Bala 

34. The Parliament House, Dolgelly 
3-5. Milford Haven .... 

36. Milford Haven .... 

37. The Worm's Head : PiN insula oi 

Gower ..... 

38. Swansea ...... 

39. Cardiff 

40. Newport . 

41. Land's End and the Longshifs Light 

HOUSE 

42. The "Ahmed Knights," near Land'i 

End 

43. The Scilly Islands . . , , 

44. The Botallack Mine 



PACJK 

4 

6 


9 

10 



12 
13 
14 

15 
16 
18 

20 
22 
24 
25 

30 
33 
35 
40 

47 
48 
49 

50 



51 
52 
53 
54 
57 

59 
60 
63 
64 
65 
66 
67 
08 



FIO. 

45. 

46. 
47. 
48. 
49. 
5t). 
5L 
52. 
53. 

54. 
55. 
56. 
57. 
68. 
59. 
60. 
61. 

62. 
63. 
64. 
65. 
66. 
67. 
68. 
69. 
70. 
71. 
72. 
73. 
74. 
75. 
76. 
77. 
78. 
79. 
80. 
81. 
82. 
83. 
84. 
85. 
86. 
87. 



the 



89. 
90. 
91. 

92. 

93. 
94. 
95. 
96. 



Penzance . . . • 

Falmouth and Truro 
Plymouth . . . • 

Smeaton's Eddvstone Lighthouse 
Eddystone Rocks 

Tor Bay 

Exeter and the Estuary of the Exe 

Exeter Cathedral 

Promontories and Beach of Weston- super 

Mare . . . ■ 

Bristol Channel 

Railway Ferry at Portskewet . 
Shrewsbury .... 
Warwick and Leamington 
Strat ford-on- Avon . 
Shakspere's House 
Birmingham .... 
The Severn below Gloucester, and 

Berkeley Ship Canal . 
Gloucester Cathedral . 
The Cloisters : Gloucester Cathedral 
Cheltenham .... 
Bristol and Bath 
Clifton Suspension Bridge 
Hereford Cathedral 
Portland ..... 
The Isle of Wight . 
Portsmouth .... 
Beachy Head . 
Romney Marsh 
Salisbury Cathedrvl 
Salisbury and Stonehenge 
Stonehenge .... 
Southampton Water 
Portsmouth and Approaches 
Brighton .... 

Hastings .... 

Cirencester and Thames Head . 
Old London Bridge 
The Entrance to the Thames 
The Isle of Thanet . 
Goodwin Sands 
The Environs of Oxford . 

Reading 

Windsor ..... 
Annual Increase of Population in T 

one Cities of Europe 
The Growth of London 
The London Sewers 
London: Hyde Park and the Ser 



hirt\ 



pentine 

Increase of Imm'gration and Excess of 

Births of the Large Cities of Europe 
Railways of London 
Buckingham Palace 
Westminster Abbey 
Westminster Abbey : Henry YII.'s 

Chapel 



PAOB 

84 
86 
88 
90 
91 
92 
93 
94 

97 
99 
100 
102 
107 
108 
109 
110 

111 

112 
113 
114 
116 
117 
118 
123 
126 
128 
129 
130 
133 
134 
135 
138 
140 
143 
144 
147 
149 
150 
151 
152 
155 
158 
159 



166 
169 
172 

173 

175 
177 
182 
183 

184 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



no. 

97. St. Paul's Cathedral . . . . 

98. Somerset House and the Victoria 

Embankment ..... 

99. Kew and Richmond .... 

100. The Docks of London .... 

101. Guildford and Godalming 

102. Rochester and Chatham .... 

103. Dover 

104. Harwich and Ipswich and their Estuaries 

105. Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft 

106. Norman Tower and Akbey : Bury St. 

Edmunds ...... 

107. Norwich Catuedkal .... 

108. Norwich . . . . 

109. The Wash 

110. The Fens of Wisbeach and Peterborough 

111. Cambridge ...... 

112. Lincoln Cathedral .... 

113. Lincoln ....... 

114. 'l"he " Peak " of Derbyshire 

1 15. The Mouth of the Humber and Port of 

Holderness ..... 

116. Warped Plain of the Ouse and the Trent 

117. The District of the Potteries . 

118. Lichfield Cathedral .... 

119. Derby ....... 

120. York 

121. York Minster ..... 

122. Middlesborough and Stockton-on-Tees . 

123. Scarborough 

124. Towns in South- Western Yorkshire 

125. Leeds ....... 

126. Halifax and Huddersfield 

127. Sheffield 

128. Chester 

129. Watergate R >w, Chester . 

130. Chester C\thedhal (as restori?d) 

131. Towns in Lancashire and Cheshire . 

132. Manchester and Environs 

133. Liverpool ...... 

1.34. Liverpool : The Landing-stage . 
135. ,, St. George's Hall . 

1 <6. Liverpool Water Works . 

137. Preston 

138. Hypsographical Map of the Cumbrian 

Mountains ..... 

139. Cumbrian Mountains .... 

140. Hadrian's Wall 

141. The Head of Windermere . 

142. Screes at Wastwater, Cumberland 

143. The Falls of Lodore .... 

144. Hartlepool 

145. The Durham Coast between Sunderland 

and the Tyne ..... 

146. Sunderland, Newcastle, and the Mouth of 

the Tyne 

147. Holy Island 

148. The Isle of Man 

SCOTLAND. 

149. Mount Merrick 

150. The Wall of Antoninus .... 

151. Loch Lomond ...... 

152. Arran Island 



PAGK 

186 

187 
191 
ly6 
201 
205 
208 
211 
213 

215 
2l6 
217 
221 
223 
226 
230 
231 
234 

235 
237 
239 
241 
243 
244 
248 
2,50 
251 
254 
256 
258 
259 
262 
263 
264 
266 
267 
271 
272 
273 
274 
277 

280 
281 
283 
285 
287 
288 
290 

292 

294 
297 
300 



304 
306 
307 
308 



FIG. 

153. 
154. 
155. 
156. 
157. 
158. 
159. 
160. 
161. 
162. 
163. 
164. 
165. 
166. 
167. 
168. 

169. 
170. 
171. 
172. 
173. 
174. 

175. 
176. 
177. 
178. 
179. 
180. 
181. 
182. 
183. 
184. 
185. 
186. 
187. 
188. 
189. 



Firth of Clyde 

The Rhinns of Galloway . 

Glasgow ..... 

Greenock and Helensburgh 

Dumbarton .... 

Galashiels and Melrose . 

Hawick ... 

Firth of Forth 

Ihe Narrows of Queensferry . 

Glezimore .... 

Ben Nevis .... 

I'he Parallel Roads of Gleuroy 

The Firths of Western Scotland 

Loch Etive .... 

Loch Tarbert and the Crinan Canal 

Holy Loch, and the silted -up Loch of 

Eachaig .... 
The Orkneys . . . • . 
I'he Shetland Islands 
The Western Islands 
Lochs of Southern Lewis 
St. Kilda .... 

Staffa : View taken from the t 

a Cliff .... 
The Exterior of Fingal's Cave 
The Head of Loch Fyne . 
The Standing Stones of Sten.ms 
Linguistic Map of Scotland 
Perth .... 
The Tay Bridge and Dundee (18; 
Dundee and the Mouth of the Tay 
Montrose 
Aberdeen 
Balmoral 

Peterhead and Fraserburgh 
Firth of Inverness . 
Kirkwall 
Stornuway 
Lerwick .... 



8) . 



IRELAND. 

190. Hypsographical Map of Ireland 

191. The Lakes of Killarney .... 

192. The Wicklow Mountains 

193. The Giants' Causeway .... 

194. The Giants' Causeway and Rathlin Island 

195. The Table-land of Magheraboy 

196. The Underground Emissary of Lough 

Mask 

197. Upper Lough Erne ..... 

198. The Falls of Doonas, at Castleconnel 

199. The Mouth of the Shannon . 

200. Linguistic Map of Ireland 

201. Movement of the Population in Ireland . 

202. Distribution of Natives of Ireland in 

Great Britain ..... 

203. View of Dublin fkom Ph(e.nmx Park . 
20 1. Carlingford Lough 

205. Strangford Lough 

206. Belfast Lough 

207. Lough Foyle . 

208. Galway Bay . 

209. Killala Bay . 



PAOB 

312 
314 
317 
320 
321 
322 
323 
324 
330 
334 
335 
339 
340 
341 
342 

343 

344 
346 
347 
348 
349 

350 
351 
352 
356 
358 
362 
365 
366 
367 
368 
369 
370 
372 
374 
375 
376 



379 
381 
382 
384 
385 
386 



391 
b92 
393 
399 
408 

409 
413 
418 
419 
421 
422 
425 
426 



LIST OF ILLUSTEATIONS. 



KIiJ. 

210. Sligo Harbour . . . . . 

211. Round Tower of Croom 

212. Lakes of Killarney : Roan Castle 

213. Cape Clear Island . . . . . 

214. Cork Harbour . . . . . . 

215. Increase or Decrease of the Population, 

1861—1871 

216. The Local Element of the Pojmlation 

217. Increase and Decrease of the Natives of 

each County, 1861— 1871 . 

218. Total Emigration from the British Islands 
2! 9. Land under Cultivation . . . . 

220. I^nd under Corn Crops .... 

221. Distribution of Cattle . . . . 

222. Distribution of Sheep .... 

223. Distribution of Coal in Great Britain 



PAGE 


FIG. 




PAGE 


428 


224 


Coal Basins 


453 


429 


225 


The Carboniferous Formation before 




430 




Denudation ..... 


454 


431 


226 


Fluctuations of British Commerce . 


461 


432 


227. 


Stoknoway : Retukx of the Fishing 








Fleet 


463 


438 


228. 


Wreck Chart 


464 


439 


229. 


Canals and Navigable Rivers . 


465 




230. 


Railway ]\Iap . . ... 


467 


440 


231. 


Valentia and its Telegrap Cables . 


468 


442 


232. 


Educational Map 


472 


444 


233. 


Yorkshire and Rutlandshire contrasted . 


476 


44.5 


234. 


Diocesan Map of the British Islands 


480 


449 


235. 


Distribution of Roman Catholics 


481 


450 


236. 


Breaches in the North Downs and the 




452 j 




Camp of Aldershot .... 


4 85 




THE EARTH AND ITS INHABITANTS. 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



CHAPTER I. 



Genebal Features. 




RE AT BRITAIN and Ireland, together witli the numerous small 
contiguous islands, form but an insignificant fraction of that world 
upon which they have exercised so considerable an influence. In 
area they do not form the thirtieth part of Europe, or the four 
hundred and thirtieth of the habitable globe, whilst their truly 
fruitful portion, which has enabled England to play her great part in the world's 
history, constitutes scarcely more than one-half of the United Kingdom.* 

Great Britain, the larger of the two main islands of the group, is separated 
from Continental Europe by the English Channel and the North Sea, and is itself 
divided into several well-marked geographical regions. Ranges of hills, and even 
mountains, no less than the elongated shape of the island, were favourable to the 
formation of distinct communities, whose conflicting interests, as might have been 
expected, were frequently decided by an appeal to arms. South-eastern England, 
a country of plains and hills, is one of these natural regions, and for ages its inha- 
bitants differed from their neighbours in history and manners. The peninsula of 
Cornwall, between the English and Bristol Channels, which juts out into the open 
Atlantic, no less than the mountain land of Wales, bounded on the south and north 



Great Britain . 

931 Minor contiguous Islands 

Isle of Man 

Ireland .... 

196 Minor contiguous Islands 

Total British Islands 





Population 


Area. 


(Estimated for 1880) 


84,447 


28,630,000 


4,614 


300,000 


227 


56,000 


32,285 


5,370,000 


246 


5,000 


121,819 


34,361,000 



2 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

by well-defined indentations of tlie coast, are likewise countries distinguished by 
special features which could not fail of exercising an influence upon their inhabit- 
ants. The mountainous part of England, to the north of the Humber and Mersey, 
forms a fourth natural province, differing from the remainder of England in its 
geological structure no less than in the history of its inhabitants. The Cheviot 
Hills, which run across the island from sea to sea to the north of the Solway 
Firth, form a well-defined historical boundary, and so does the lowland plain 
which stretches from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde. The sterile moun- 
tains and valleys of the Scottish Highlands form a most striking contrast to the 
low plains and gentle hills stretching away to the south.* At two places these 
natural frontiers have been marked, as it were, by lines of fortifications, viz. 
between the estuary of the Forth and that of the Clyde, and farther south, between 
the mouth of the Tyne and the Solway Firth, where the Eomans constructed 
ramparts and towers to put a stop to the depredations of the Highland tribes. 

The contours of Great Britain are at once symmetrical and bold. In its general 
structure that island strikingly resembles the peninsula of Scandinavia. Like the 
latter, it stretches from north to south in the direction of the meridians, its 
plateaux and mountains rise near the west coast, and its principal rivers flow to 
the eastward. Ireland, though it too has fine contours, is far more massive in its 
configuration than the sister island. Its mountains form the nuclei of distinct 
provinces, whose inhabitants made war upon each other ; but on the whole its 
features exhibit greater geographical unity than those of the larger island. 

The British Islands rise upon the submarine plateau of North-western Europe. 
The strait which separates England from France is narrow and of inconsiderable 
depth, and from the heights above Dover the grey cliffs of Gris Nez are distinctly 
visible on a clear day. Still, Albion, to the ancestors of the modern Frenchmen, was 
a distant country. Squalls of wind, rapid and changing currents, sand-banks, and 
steep cliffs rendered navigation perilous. In time of war communications between 
the two countries ceased altogether ; whilst during peace, owing to the danger 
which attended them, hardly any but sailors and merchants profited by them. The 
mass of the nation was thus little affected by events which took place on the conti- 
nent, and remained insular in its mode of life, customs, and ideas. The Romans, 
moreover, only succeeded in subduing a portion of Great Britain, and the influence 
they exercised was therefore far less powerful than in Gaul. The highlands of 
Scotland and Ireland never formed part of the Roman world at all, the remote- 
ness and the perils of the ocean affording them a protection against the legions 
of the Ca3sars. It was only slowly and by degrees that the tribes inhabiting 
those countries were affected by the civilisation which had Rome for its centre. 
The British Islands thus occupied a position, relatively to the general history 
of mankind, analogous to that which they hold to the fauna and flora of Conti- 
nental Europe. Numerous species of French and German plants, perfectly 
adapted to the climate of England, are nevertheless not found there, and Ireland is 
still poorer than Great Britain in its animal and vegetable forms. The migration 

* Buckle, "History of Civilization in England." 



THE BRITISH SEAS. 3 

of numerous species has been prevented by the obstacles presented by tbe sea, and 
in tbe same way many great events in the history of Europe affected England but 
slightly, and were hardly felt at all in distant Erin. 

The progressive development of England was thus marked by originality and 
spontaneity. The country which gave birth to this national civilisation possesses, 
moreover, very considerable physical advantages. Its hills and mountains are of 
moderate height, and present no serious obstacles to free communications between 
the inhabitants dwelling on opposite slopes ; for the Grampians lie outside the 
living portion of the country, in a region of sea-born winds and mists, and 
are, besides, very thinly inhabited. The lowlands, privileged in every respect, 
occupy the other extremity of the island, and face Continental Europe. Washed 
and defended by the sea on the east and the south, this portion of England 
hospitably opened its ports to colonists and merchants. It was there, in the vicinity 
of France and the Netherlands, that civilisation made most rapid progress, and 
the capital of the entire country was established. 

The British Sf-as. 

To the seas which surround them the British Islands are indebted for the mild- 
ness of their climate, their security from foreign invasion, their commerce, and 
the wealth yielded by productive fisheries. These seas are shallow. If the 
waters were to subside to the extent of 300 feet, the whole of the British Islands, 
including Ireland, would once more be united to Continental Europe. A 
subsidence of little more than 100 feet would result in the formation of an 
isthmus connecting Lincolnshire with Holland. A line drawn on a map to mark 
a depth of 600 feet passes about 60 miles to the west of Ireland, the Outer 
Hebrides, and Shetland. All within that line is less considerable in depth, 
excepting only a few " pits " — depressions in the bed of the sea — which lie off the 
west coast of Scotland and in the North Channel. 

The North Sea, or German Ocean, to the south of the parallel of Aberdeen, 
hardly anywhere exceeds a depth of 800 feet, and it grows shallower towards the 
south. It is exceedingly rich in fish, and Mobius* very justly remarks that its bed 
is far more profitable to man than are the sterile heaths which border its shores. 
Its fisheries give employment to about 900 fishing-smacks, of which 650 sail under 
the English flag, and the harvest of fish annually drawn from its depths has been 
estimated at 75,000 tons. One of its most productive fishing grounds is the 
Dogger Bank, which occupies its centre, and supplies London and other large 
towns with immense quantities of cod. The North Sea is indebted for its wealth 
in fish to its shallowness and freedom from rocks. Oyster beds are the only 
obstacles which the dredge of the fisherman occasionally encounters. These 
oysters of the high sea, however, are but little esteemed. The best oysters are 
found in the shallow, brackish waters along the English coast, and it is these which 
are deposited in the oyster parks of Ostend to be fattened. 

* " Das Thierleben am Boden der Ost- und Nordaee." 



4 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

In its general features the bed of the North Sea resembles the mud-flats or 
«.aMe«, of its eastern shore. Oceanic currents have scooped out channels m the 
mud and sand, but the original relief of the sea-bed has been obliterated. A 
submarine plain like this can be the product only of causes acting uniformly 

Fig. 1. — The North Sea. 
Scale 1 : 7,400,000. 




] 0«pf* InFtthom M | 

27toS4 S4tonO 

100 Miles. 



over a wide area ; and for sucli a cause the majority of geologists go back to the 
glacial epoch, when glaciers, laden with the waste of the land, drifted into this 
ancient gulf of the Atlantic, and there deposited their loads.* Even at the present 
day there are agencies at work which tend to fill up the basin of the North Sea. 

• Ramsay, "Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain." 



THE BRITISH SEAS. 5 

Glaciers are no longer stranded on its shores, but rivers deposit in it the sediment 
with which they are charged, whilst the arctic current, which makes itself feebly 
felt in this vast gulf, conveys into it the pumice-stone ejected from the volcanoes 
of Iceland and Jan Mayen.* Deposition is consequently still going on, though at 
a much slower rate than formerly. But how are we to explain the gradual fillino- 
up of the North Sea, whilst the abj'ssal channel which separates it from j^orway 

Fig. 2.— The Strait of Dover and the English Channel. 
Prom an Admiralty Chart. Scale 1 : 795,000. 







retains its depth of hundreds of fathoms ? Is it not that its very depth saved 
it from becoming the depository of glacial drift ? The glaciers carried south- 
ward by currents and northerly winds may be supposed to have stranded only 
after they had reached the shallower waters of the North Sea, when, melting 
under the influence of the sun, they deposited upon its bottom the debris they 
carried. 

The Strait of Dover, which joins the North Sea to the English Channel, has a 
width of only 20 miles, and in depth nowhere exceeds 180 feet. The navigation is 
* " Annales Hydrographiques," 4e trimestre, 1873. 



THE BPJTISH ISLES. 



not without danger, owing to conflicting currents and the sand-banks which cumber 
the approaches. The most famous of these banks are the Goodwins, off the coast 
of Kent, within which lies the roadstead called the Downs, a great resort of vessels 
waiting for favourable winds and tides. The English Channel gradually increases 



Fig. 3.— The Ikish Sea. 
From an Admiralty Chart. Scale 1 : 795,000. 




■-f./s 



03 Lagijf 



-- ;.._^c,m ^^^Ij^^fj^ <?/> ^_j so 36 




20 .3Tr °' 



.IS og) 



„.j C» to '"'' !•! *' ™- 

l!ill^r,i,jf,1,l^„^ II- Kock'.ifn/I 

" — '' /Si-*" ■<■< ^o 







' -iS ay 



\'9 7322^' 



1 ^^^^2i 29 1% 2' *" '* ^■^ '^ 9 S'M-</^i 



'S /7 l5"^';o"8 ^ 2lM. 

// 9 ■':..&.■„ :iBlackp 



ifi /• ?-^ 



• 29 22 ^■' IX 7 ^ •■ «- 



6 -^ ■if'-.^-Sktm,, 

Si.'.: ;] 2? JO /5 
/ '<3^^ 'tHolyheadB. 
« .5,j /v.? r^"" 35 2& 40 /7, 









"I. '-^27 "^ V ?/ *'« urBHPOofi.^^^ ^yHW%> 







Z.'~r/'0O^ / ,M 39 ■" CARDIGAN BAY 12 I2"*S^0^ 

^' \^^ nlT^.' if) 7 u I 

^-^^ll'!Bl<i<-\H,.4rb'! ., SO ** * 



17 is ., ; 6.6 




i>r^M^« 



10 Miles. 



in-depth as we proceed to the westward, until, off Land's End, it exceeds 300 

The Irish Sea is far more considerable in depth than the German Ocean, and 
Ireland was an island lying off the coast of Western Europe long before Great 



GEOLOGY AND SURFACE FEATURES. 7 

Britain had been severed from the neighbouring continent. Yet, compared with 
the open Atlantic, or even with inland seas in volcanic regions, its depth is incon- 
siderable. Only detached portions of its bed sink below 300 feet, and the 
maximum depth does not exceed 500 feet. In the North Channel, however, 
the depth is greater, being nowhere less than 300 feet, and attaining 664 feet 
in one of the "pits" lying midway between Galloway and the Lough of 
Belfast. 

The tidal undulation reaches the British Islands from the south-west, and, 
travelling along the west coast of Ireland and Scotland, wheels completely 
round the north of the islands, so that the old tide coming from the northward, 
down the German Ocean, meets the Atlantic tide of twelve hours later date 
opposite to the mouth of the Thames. Similarly, opposite tidal currents pene- 
trate into the Irish Sea from the north and the south, meeting about the 
parallel of the Isle of Man. The rise of the tide is generally greater on the 
exposed west coast than on either the south or east coast, but varies exceedingly 
according to local circumstances. Where tidal waves meet, a higher rise is the 
result, but where the time at which a high tide wave reaches a particular coast 
coincides with the moment of ebb of a tidal wave coming from another direction, 
the two undulations neutralise each other. Thus, on the south-east coast of 
Ireland, and at the Portland Bill, in the English Channel, the two undulations 
almost balance each other, and the tide is consequently hardly perceptible. On 
the contrary, when the tidal wave enters a narrowing arm of the sea or an 
estuary, it advances with increasing impetuosity, and attains a considerable 
height. The most conspicuous instance of this is presented by the Bristol 
Channel, which becomes shallower as it narrows, and where the spring tides con- 
sequently attain a height of 60 feet. The general rise of the tides, however, is 
far less. 

Geology akd Surface Featu4ies. 
England is distinguished among all the countries of Europe for its great variety 
of geological formations. It is the very paradise of geologists, for it may be 
said to be in itself an epitome of the geology of almost the whole of Europe, and 
of much of Asia and America. There are few formations which are not repre- 
sented at least by a few patches, and so regular is their succession that the geology 
of England, in its general features no less than in its details, became sooner known 
to us than that of any other country in Europe. The geological map which 
William Smith published in 1815, after twenty-five years of unwearied work, in 
the course of which he traversed England on foot in all directions, is a remark- 
able work, and surprises by the relative perfection with which it brings to our 
knowledge the extent of the various geological formations.* Since his time a 

♦ Table of British Formations, according to Professor A. C. Eamsay : — 

Recent Alluvia, Peat, and estuarine beds now forming, &c. 

Post Tertiary River and estuarine alluvia ; glacier moraines and boulder 

clays ; forest bed of Norfolk, [Tertiary 



8 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

more minute survey has been carried on, revealing not only the surface geology 
in all its details, but throwing additional light upon the great mineral and 
metallic wealth hidden in the bowels of the earth. Even in fabulous times, 
long before history mentioned the names of the tribes who inhabited the British 
Isknds, the mineral wealth of the Cassiterides, or Cornwall, attracted merchants 
from the Mediterranean ; and to the present day, whatever may be the mineral 
riches of America or Australia, the British Islands remain the most productive 
mining country in the world. They owe their pre-eminence, however, not to tin, 
but to coal and iron. 

The geological structure of Great Britain is prominently exhibited in its 
surface features. The older palaoozoic rocks, which compose the most rugged 
and elevated mountain regions, lie to the west and north-west, whilst rocks of more 
recent age are spread over the hilly districts and lowlands. 

In the rugged Highlands, which to the north of a line drawn from the Firth of 
Clyde to Stonehaven, on the German Ocean, fill up nearly the whole of Northern 
Scotland, are found gneiss and mica schist of the Silurian age, with numerous bosses 
of granite and syenite rising above the general level, and forming some of the 
most prominent peaks. Along part of the west coast these Silurian rocks overlie 
gneiss and sandstone of Cambrian and Laurentian age, closely resembling similar 
formations found in Canada. A deep fissure, occupied by a chain of lakes, and 
bounded by steep hills, stretches for a hundred miles from Loch Eil to the 
Moray Firth. This is the Glenmore, or '* large valley." It separates the 
northern Highlands from the Grampians, in which rises Ben JN'evis, the culmi- 
nating point of the British Isles. The whole of this tract is sterile and deso- 
late in aspect, consisting largely of peaty moorlands and brown heaths, and 
intersected by narrow glens and valleys, which afford pasturage to black cattle 
and sheep. 

A wide plain separates this inhospitable region from the hilly district of 
Southern Scotland. This plain, stretching from the Clyde to the Forth, and 



/ Pliocene Norwich Crag, Red Crag Coralline Crag. 

Tektiahy 1 Miocene Bovey Tracey and Mull beds, with igneous rocks. 

OR Cainozoic ] Eocene Hempstead, Bembridge, Osborne, and Headon beds ; 

Bracklesham and Bagshot beds ; London Clay. 

f Cretaceous Chalk, Greensand, Gait, Atherfield Clay. 

j Wealden Series .... Weald Clay, Hastings Sands, Purbeck beds. 

Secondary ' ^*^^*^^ Series Portland Oolite and Kimmeridge Clay ; Coral Rag and 

OR Mtsozoic 1 Oxford Clay ; Cornbrash, Forest Marble, Bath Oolite ; 

I Stonesfield Slate and inferior Oolite. 

I Lias Clay, Marlstone, Rha^tic beds. 

LXriassic New Red Marl (Keuper), New Red Sandstone (Bunter). 

j' Permian Magnesian Limestone. 

Carboniferous Coal Measures and Millstone Grit ; Carboniferous Lime- 
stone and Shales. 
Old Red Sandstone and 

Devonian Sandstones, Slate, Limestones, Shales, INIarls, and Con- 
glomerate. 

Silurian Arenig Slates, Bala or Caradoc beds, Ludlow Rocks. 

Cambrian Grits and Slates of Lonymynd and Wales, Tremadoc Slates. 

Laurentian Gneisa. 



Pri.maky 
OR Paleozoic 



J -1 3 1 ? I « -3 1 1 1 1 « * H'l I J t" I J ■§. i§ 1 ii ?. 1 f i 6 » y p I 
jllllll?-l||JIII||||l4lllll|ll|lll4il'lllll 



MMf^eyCvtC^fJC^e'SWcO 



, |JI|llllll||i|l4lllill!ll%\^illllJfll|lll 



•J 



e^e*evc^^»c^fr<N 



H|ifl|iM|Jtl|}Jf|j||ljl||f||iHlllll 

^lllillj|ill4llllllll|llllllllllK^|j||ill 





-0 



■SC" 


-"M 


\r^ 


^■■ 


/ «qfS 


3 tS 


^■■.r> 


00 


}% 


;■•■• 


■y 


V 


A:.. 




t°h- 


X 


\t 


t^ 


W^ 


J 


■•^h 


tl 


\\ 


~^' 



■\ \^? ^ 



^ TL 




^rf 


^^^ 

'^:%'- 


f^ 


Wi 


^. 






GEOLOGY AND SURFACE FEATURES. 



extending northward to Montrose, is occupied by old red sandstone and marl, 
and by the shales, sandstones, and limestones of the carboniferous series. Masses 
of igneous rocks rise above its surface and diversify its scenery. By its fertility 
this plain contrasts most strikingly with the Grampians, which, like a wall, bound 



Fig. 4. — Ootid AL Lines. 
According to Scott Russell. Scale 1 : 10,626,000. 




OVofG. 



Over 109 Fathoms 



it on the north. It is rich, moreover, in coal and iron, and has become a great 
centre of population. 

The hills of Southern Scotland, sometimes called the Cheviot Region, after the 
range of hills which almost severs Scotland from England, resemble the Grampians 
in geological formation, consisting, like them, of Silurian rocks ; but being less 
rugged in their character, and penetrated by broader valleys of considerable 
fertility, they are far more hospitable. Extensive tracts are covered with grass, 
98— E 



10 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

affording excellent pasture to sheep, and agriculture is successfully carried on 
in the Tweeddale and other valleys. 

A gap, through which passes the railway from Newcastle to Carlisle, and 
which lies at an elevation of only 446 feet above the level of the sea, separates the 
Cheviot Hills from a broad range of carboniferous rocks which forms the back- 
bone of Northern England, and stretches from Northumberland to Derbyshire. 
This is the Pennine chain, a region of moors, heaths, and grassy uplands, inter- 
sected by verdant valleys abounding in picturesque scenery. In the west this 
chain presents a steep slope towards the Irish Sea, whilst to the east it dips down 
gently, and finally disappears beneath a band of magnesian limestone, which 
separates the carboniferous rocks from the more recent formations occupying the 
plain of York. The wealth of the Pennine chain in coal and iron has attracted 
to it a dense population, and flourishing manufacturing towns have arisen upon 
what were once desolate moorlands. 

A transverse ridge, crossed by the pass of Shap Fell, which joins the narrow 
glen of the Lune to the broad and fertile plain of the Eden, and through which 
runs one of the two main roads connecting England and Scotland, joins the 
Pennine range to the mountain group of Cumbria. Consisting largely of Silurian 

Fig. 5. — Section fkom Snowdon to the East of England. 
According to Professor Ramsay. 

Pennine Ra. Lincoln 

Cheshire Plain. ..,K...f s „„„v. W''^fl''™«l ^...^lit* Wolds. 



Carbonif? Rocks 
New Red Sandstone. 



York Plain. . 

Lias ! i Chalk 



slates, this mountain group is famous for its pastoral scenery, its lakes and wooded 
valleys. 

The broad plain of Chester sepa,rates the Pennine chain from the Cambrian 
or Welsh mountains, composed of highly disturbed and distorted strata of Silurian 
and Cambrian slates, intermingled with igneous rocks, and interbedded with lavas 
and beds of volcanic ashes. In the south-east these ancient rocks are overlaid 
successively by old red sandstone and carboniferous limestone, and there the 
country, though hilly and even mountainous, is naturally fertile. In the remainder 
of Wales, however, although there are not wanting broad alluvial valleys 
bounded by wooded hills, vast tracts are covered with heath, and are only fit for 
pasture. 

When we cross the Bristol Channel we enter the last mountainous region of 
England— that which comprehends the counties of Devon and Cornwall, and 
attains its highest elevation in the granitic moorlands of Dartmoor. Geolo- 
gically this region differs totally from Wales, Silurian rocks being altogether 
absent, and Devonian' strata the oldest formation met with. This south-western 
peninsula of England is, in fact, closely allied to the peninsula of Brittany in 
France, from which it is severed now by the Channel, but whence it derived its 
population, and also, in part at least, its flora. Its mountain ranges and hiUs are 



GEOLOGY AND SUEFACE FEATURES. 11 

bleak and treeless, as are ttose in the north, but they yield copper, tin, and lead, 
and between them lie broad pasture-lands and fruitful valleys.* 

A broad expanse of comparatively level land separates the barren paloeozoic 
mountain ranges of England and Wales from the uplands and plains which occupy 
the entire eastern part of the country. Spreading over the whole of Central 
England, this level tract extends along the eastern foot of the Pennine range to 
the coast of Yorkshire, merges on the west into the wide plain of Cheshire and 
Lancashire, and can be traced southwards into the valley of the Severn, and beyond, 
through the vale of Taunton and other low-lying districts, to the south coast of 
Devonshire. Nearly the whole of this extensive region is occupied by the sand- 
stones, limestones, clays, and marls of the triassic and liassic formations, the 
harder of these rocks often rising into minor escarpments facing westwards, and 
overlooking rich undulating meadow lands and cultivated fields. 

On the east these plains and undulating grounds are bounded by an oolitic 
limestone range, which traverses England from the coast of Dorsetshire to the 
estuary of the Tees, presenting a bold escarpment towards the west, on ascending 
which we find ourselves upon an undulating table-land, mostly occupied by sheep 
pastures. The Cotswold Hills, which bound the vale of Gloucester, and the 
moorlands of Yorkshire, far away in the north, both belong to this formation. 
Around the Wash it disappears beneath the alluvial flats of the Bedford level, but 
everywhere else it dips below the chalk, which forms so prominent a feature' in 
the physical geography of South-eastern England. 

The chalk, like the oolitic limestone, generally presents a bold escarpment 
towards the west. It is most extensively developed on the plain of Salisbury. 
From this, as a centre, the ranges of chalk diverge in different directions. The 
South Downs stretch along the coast of the Channel as far as Beachy 
Head. The North Downs bound the valley of the Thames on the south, and 
terminate in the cliffs of Dover. A third range extends to the north-eastward, 
forming the Marlborough Downs, the Chiltern Hills, and the East Anglian 
Heights, which terminate with Hunstanton Clifi^, at the mouth of the Wash, but 
once again rise to the north of that shallow bay in the wolds of Lincoln and 
York. 

Clays, sands, limestones, and crag of the tertiary age overlie the chalk in the so- 
called basins of London and Hampshire ; but between the North and South Downs 
the chalk has been removed by denudation, and the subjacent strata which occupy 
the district known as the Weald have been laid bare. Bounded by escarpments of 

* Culminating summits of mountain groups of Great Britaia : — 

Northern Highlands, Ben Wyvis 3,422 feet. 

Grampians, Ben Nevis 4,406 „ 

„ Ben Muich (Mac) Dhui 4,296 „ 

Hills of South Scotland, Merrick 2,764 „ 

Cheviot 2,669 „ 

Pennine Chain, Cross FeU 2,928 „ 

Cambrian mountains, Sea Fell 3,230 „ 

Welsh mountains, Snowdon 3,590 „ 

Mountains of Devonshire and Cornwall, Yes Tor (Dartmoor) . . . 2,077 „ 



12 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

chalk, this area of denudation opens out like an ancient bay upon the English 
Channel. Its level parts consist of clav, above which rises a central ridge composed 

of Hastings sands.* 

Quite as striking as the contrast between the rugged mountain regions which 
occupy North Britain and the west of England is the difference of aspect presented 
by the opposite coasts of the island. The east coast is of uniform contour, and 

Fig. 6.— Geological Map of South-Eastern England. 
According to Best. Scale 1 : 3,350.000. 




^a 



2. Upper Tertiary. 3. London Clay, &c. 





4. Chalk. 5 & 6. Greensand and Gait. 

■ 



12. Permian. 



13. Carboniferous. 



9. Lias. 
14. Devonian. 



lO&ll. Triassic. 



15. Silurian. 



50 Miles. 



almost devoid of natural harbours, but their absence is somewhat compensated for 
by the existence of estuaries ; the approaches to these, however, are often rendered 



♦ Culminating points of the uplands of Eastern England : — 
Oolitic Limestone Ranges 



Cretaceou.s Ranges . 



Cotswold Hills, Cleeve Hill . . . . 


1,134 feet 


York Moors, Botton Head .... 


1,498 „ 


South Downs, Butser Hill .... 


883 „ 


North Downs, Inkpen Beacon . . 


973 „ 


LeithHill .... 


967 „ 


Chiltern Hills, Wendover Hill . . 


905 „ 



I 



GEOLOaY AND SURFACE FEATURES. 



13 



dangerous by shoals and sand-banks. Marshes and shelving beaches are frequent 
along it, and the cliffs being for the most part composed of chalk, clay, or sand, 
and unable to resist the assaults of the ocean, crumble away. In many places the 
sea gains upon the land rapidly. 

Very different are the features of the western coast. Its contour exhibits far 
greater variety. In Scotland more especially it is indented by numerous sea 
lochs, bounded by bold mountains, reminding us of the fiords of Norway. "Whilst 
along the whole of the eastern coast there is but one island of any note, the western 
coast of Scotland is skirted by the double chain of the Hebrides, the Isle of Man 
occupies the centre of the Irish Sea, and Anglesey lies off the coast of Wales. 
There are not wanting low sandy shores and tracts of marshy land, but bold cliffs 

Fig. 7. — The Stack Rocks, South Wales. 




form its characteristic feature. Being composed of solid rocks, these headlands are 
better able to resist the wasting action of the sea than are the soft cliffs along the 
east coast. Yet that waste, however slow, is going on here also is proved by 
the detached masses of rock known as " Needles " or " Stacks," which stand apart 
from the cliffs from which tbey have been severed by the erosive action of the 
tides and waves. 

The south-east coast of England resembles the east, but the western rises into 
bold cliffs of old red sandstone and granite. It is deficient in natural harbours, 
and cliffs of chalk alternate with stretches of marsh and flat tracts of clay ; but 
immediately to the west of Selsey Bill the safe roadstead of Spithead opens out 
between the mainland and the Isle of Wight, communicating with the spacious 
harbour of Portsmouth and the well- sheltered estuary leading up to Southampton. 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 

Chatham and Portsmouth as a great naval station. 

If we now turn to a consideration of the principal features of Ireland, we 
JlZ thai they differ essentially from those presented by the more favoured 
Itter Island. Less 'varied in its contour, it exhibits likewise greater simplicity in 

Fig. 8.— Plymouth Sound and the Hamoaze. 

From an Admiralty Chart. Scale 1 : 150.000. 



// 



/ ^^ I 



r 



iS ''' 






28 



usand B 6 a^. B • . 3 . .. ■ - .ysM •< . 
V ^ 6 « *■%? ■ 6... :; C?<r 

.. s a s^^^^^fy chii.§ T,n «;j,,,j^JS»fr^ 

\ 2S ' ' 



?« 



,^./- 



V 



£7 



23 

21 
24 »•« 



2 Miles. 



its geological structure. Broadly speaking, it may be described as consisting of a 
great central plain of carboniferous limestone, stretching across from sea to sea, 
and bounded in nearly all directions by mountain masses composed of tbe most ancient 
geological formations.* The highlands of the north-east, north-west, and west 
consist of the same crystalline and Silurian rocks which are so extensively developed 
in Scotland. The south-eastern highlands likewise consist of Silurian strata pene- 
trated by granite, and overlying Cambrian rocks, thus repeating the features which 



* E. Hull, "The Physical Geology and Geography of Ireland." 



EIVERS AND LAKES. 



15 



distinguish North-western Wales, on the other side of St. George's Channel. But 
whilst in Wales the old red sandstone occupies the region to the east of the more 
ancient rocks, it extends in Ireland to the south-west, rising into a succession of 
ranges, amongst which lies the culminating point of the entire island.* 

The geological formations which in Great Britain intervene between the old 
red sandstone and the upper tertiary beds are in Ireland either wanting alto- 
gether, or occur only sparingly, being confined to the north-east of the island, where 
they crop out beneath the vast sheet of basalt which forms the striking scenery 
along the coast of Antrim. 

In its coast-line Ireland presents features analogous to those of Great Britain. 
The eastern coast is mostly flat, and obstructed by sunken rocks and sand-banks, 



Fig. 9. — Comparative Size of some British and Foreign Lakes. 



IH-ELAND. SCOTLAND. C0MBRIA14 WALES. 

Lo5;uiV. Lower' L.^Ree ^-^^^^asU ^ W'.s. 



L . Lomond 




whilst the western coast, facing the open Atlantic, abounds in deep inlets, or 
fiords, separated by rocky peninsulas terminating in bold headlands. There are 
many excellent harbours, but, owing to their remoteness from seats of industry, 
they are little frequented. 

Rivers and Lakes. 

Compared with the rivers of Continental Europe, those of Great Britain are inferior 

in length of course, volume, and the extent of the basins they drain ; but when we 

consider the facilities they ofi'er for navigation, those of England, at all events, 

* Culminating summits in Ireland : — 

North-eastern highlands, Slieve Donard (Mourne) 2,796 feet. 

North-western highlands, Errigal (Donegal) 2,466 „ 

Western highlands, Muilrea (Mayo) 2,688 „ 

South-eastern highlands, Lugnaquilla (Wicklow) 3,039 „ 

South-western highlands, Carrantuohill (Kerry) 3,414 „ 



jg THE BRITISH ISLES. 

are to be preferred. Rising in hills and uplands of moderate elevation, they 
are less exposed to changes of level and floods than continental rivers whose sources 
lie in rocky mountains, covered during part of the year with masses of snow. 
Wales and Scotland are less favourably situated in this respect. Their rivers, 
unlike those of England, rise amongst elevated hills, and traverse narrow 

Fiff 10 —The River Basins of the British Isles. 




valleys, their rapid course being often impeded by ledges of rocks. The rain runs 
quickly off the impervious rocks which occupy the greater part of their drainage 
basins, and hence they are liable to sudden overflowings. All this renders them 
unfit for navigation. The rivers of Ireland resemble those of England, in as far 
as they generally flow through a flat country, are rarely rapid, and seldom inter- 
rupted by cataracts ; but they difler from them in frequently traversing lakes. 



CLIMATE. 



17 



The largest of these is Lough Neagh, which covers an area of 156 square miles, 
whilst Loch Lomond, the most extensive Highland lake, only spreads over 45. 
But size is not beauty, and few of the lakes of Ireland can compare with 
those of the Highlands and the Cumbrian hills in their picturesque surroundings. 
Yet even the largest of the Irish lakes is insignificant if we contrast it with the 
vast sheets of fresh water met with in other countries, more especially in North 
America. 

A line drawn through Great Britain to mark the water-parting between the rivers 
which empty into the German Ocean and those flowing towards the west will be 
found to divide the island into two unequal portions, the larger of which lies to the 
east. Nearly all the great rivers flow in that direction, the Severn forming 
the only notable exception. In Ireland, on the other hand, the drainage is prin- 
cipally to the westward and southward, the Boyne being the only river of any 
importance which flows into the Irish Sea.* 



Climate. 

Great are the advantages which the British Isles derive from the mildness and 
equability of their climate. Washed by the tepid waters which move slowly from 
the tropical seas towards the Arctic Ocean, they form part of the domain of the 
Atlantic, whose humid atmosphere envelops them. Nowhere else in the world, 
except in the Faroe Isles and on the western coast of Norway, does the actual 
temperature differ to the same extent from the temperature which might be looked 
for from the geographical position of the country with reference to the equator. 
In no other instance do the isothermal lines sweep so far to the northward. The 
mean annual temperature of Ireland, under lat. 52° N., is the same as that of the 
eastern coast of America, 980 miles farther south, under lat. 38°, and the winters 
in the extreme north of Scotland are as mild as in the New World, 20° of latitude 
nearer to the equator. 

* The principal river basins of the British Islands, including all those having an area of over 1,000 
square miles :- 

Area in Length 
Sq. Miles, in Miles. 
Great Britain : Western Watershed. 

Severn 8,119 186 

Severn proper 4,350 

Avon of Bristol .... 891 
Wye 1,609 



Area in Length 
Sq. Miles, in Miles. 
Eastern Watershed. 



1,190 
765 

2,250 
645 

1,870 

1,083 



GrREAT Britain 

Spey 

Dee of Aberdeen . 

Tay 

Forth .... 
Tweed .... 

Tyne 

Humber 9,293 

Trent 4,052 

Ouse 4,207 

Witham 1,050 

Nen 1,055 

Great Ouse . 2,766 

Yare and Waveney 1,210 

Thames and Medway .... 5,935 



96 

87 

107 

60 

96 

73 

204 

167 

vn 

89 
99 

156 
81 

215 



Great Britain : Southern Watershed. 
Avon of Salisburv 1.132 67 



Usk 

Mersey . 
Eden . . 
Clyde . 



158 
62 

135 
65 
85 



540 

1,722 

995 69 

1,580 98 

Ireland. 

Boyne 1,040 70 

Earrow, Suir, and Nore . . . 3,555 119 

Blackwater 1,284 104 

Shannon. 6,060 225 

Corrib 1,212 64 

Erne 1,689 64 

Foyle 1,129 73 

Bann 2,242 85 



18 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



In summer, when the temperature of the air is higher than that of the ocean, 
the latter exercises a moderating influence upon the degree of heat, more especially 
in the west. Only in the inland counties and on part of the east coast do we meet 
with features reminding us of a continental climate. The temperature during 
that season decreases with a considerable degree of uniformity from 63° Fahr., in 
the Thames valley, to 54° in the Orkneys, and the isothermals run across the 
country from east to west. 

Very different are the climatic conditions of winter, for it is then that the tepid 
waters of the Atlantic, by considerably raising the temperature of the air, exercise 



Fig. 11.— Isothermal Lines for July and January. 
According to Alexander Buchan. 




'SoyVoPGir 



Temperature of July. 



Temperature of January. 



more powerfully their beneficent influence. The isothermal lines, instead of turn- 
ing east and west, then almost follow the direction of the meridians, and the mean 
temperature of the Orkney Islands is hardly inferior to that of London, situated 
over 500 miles to the south. In the eastern part of Great Britain, and more 
especially in that portion of it which lies between the Naze and the Firth of Forth, 
the winter is coldest, owing to the greater exposure to easterly winds blowing from 
the ice-clad plains of the continent, as well as to the lower temperature of the 
German Ocean,* whilst the warm westerly winds are shut out by meridional 

• Temperature of the Atlantic in January, on the north-west coast of Scotland, U° Fahr or 5° 
warmer than the air. Temperature of the northern part of the German Ocean, 41°, or 2° warmer than 
the air. 



CLIMATE. 19 

mountain ranges. January is a far colder month on the banks of the Thames than 
in the Hebrides, and plants which the frosts of Middlesex would kill flourish 
in these islands in the open air, even in midwinter.* Yet it happens but 
rarely that the larger rivers become ice-bound, and a sight such as the Thames 
presented in February, 1814, when it was frozen over above London Bridge, and 
placards announced that there was a ''safe pathway over the river to Bankside,"i8 
not likely to be seen again, since it was due in some measure to old London Bridge, 
with its narrow arches, which now no longer obstructs the free passage of the river. 
The winter temperature is mildest on the southern coasts of Devonshire and Corn- 
wall, and there the myrtle and other sub-tropical plants flourish in the open air all 
the year round. 

Snow and ice are known, of course, and the quantity of the former which 
occasionally falls in Northern England and in the Scotch Highlands is great. 
It is rare, however, for the thermometer to fall below 18° Fahr., and rarer still 
for such a degree of cold to continue for any length of time. The difference 
between the mean temperature of the coldest and warmest months hardly ever 
exceeds 25° Fahr., and in South-western England it does not amount to 19° Fahr. 
This is very little when compared with places on the continent, for at Paris 
and Rome it amounts to 30° Fahr., at Berlin to 36° Fahr., and at Vienna to 
40° Fahr. The daily range of the summer temperature in Shetland, the Orkneys, 
and the Hebrides, which enjoy perhaps the most insular climate in Europe, is only 
about 10° Fahr. On the west shore of Great Britain it rises to 12° and 14° Fahr., 
in the central districts to 15° Fahr., and in the south to 20° Fahr. At Paris and 
other places on the continent it is much higher, f 

The direction of the winds naturally exercises an important influence upon 
temperature, no less than upon the distribution and amount of rain. The westerly 
winds, which preponderate throughout the year, and more especially in summer 
and autumn, carry with them the warmth and moisture of the Atlantic. Easterly 

* Ramsay, " Physical Geography and Geology of the British Isles." 

t Mean TEMPERATtrRE in Degrees Fahrenheit. 

Latitude. 

Sandwich (Orkneys) . . 59°5' 

Aherdeen 57°9' 

Glasgow 55°oV 

Edinburgh 55°27' 

Carlisle 5i°5i' 

York 63°51' 

Manchester 53°29' 

Liverpool 5 3° 25' 

Dublin 53°21' 

Birmingham . . . . 52°o5' 

Limerick 52''39' 

Oxford 5r46' 

Swansea SFSS' 

London ol°SO' 

Gosport 60°47' 

Plymouth 50°22' 

Penzance 50° 7' 



Winter. 
39-1° 


Sprin|. 
43-9° 


Summer. 
54-3° 


Autumn. 

47-5° 


Year. 
46-2° 


Difference be- 
tween coldest 
and warmest 

Month. 

17-2° 


38-9 


48-2 


57-3 


49-9 


48-6 


22-6 


39-7 


46-5 


60-1 


44-4 


47-7 


23-0 


38-4 


450 


57-1 


47-8 


47-1 


21-3 


37-2 


454 


57-4 


47-8 


47-0 


22-3 


36-3 


49-4 


62-4 


48-6 


49-2 


24-8 


38-3 


47-4 


59-8 


49-7 


48-8 


24-1 


41-3 


49-3 


61-1 


51-5 


60-8 


21-7 


40-6 


48-5 


61-0 


500 


50-0 


17-7 


38-8 


49-0 


61-5 


50-4 


50-0 


25-2 


41-6 


48-5 


58-6 


49 2 


49-5 


18-7 


37-0 


47-2 


60-4 


50-0 


48-6 


24-2 


4o-5 


49-7 


63-7 


56-0 


53-7 


24-4 


39-5 


49-1 


62-9 


51-8 


50-8 


26-7 


40-0 


50-1 


62-7 


53-4 


51-8 


25-0 


44-9 


49-7 


60-9 


52-9 


521 


17-4 


44-2 


49-3 


60-9 


52-7 


51-8 


19-5 



20 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



winds are most frequent between January and May. They are dry and cold, 
checking the vegetation in spring, and are frequently productive of those dense 
fogs which have given the British climate so unenviable a reputation. 

To the annual amount of rain, and its distribution over the year, the British 
Isles are largely indebted for their fertility, and under this beneficent influence 
even naturally sterile tracts, which in many other countries would present an 
aspect of desolation, become covered with a carpet of verdure, and afi'ord at least 
succulent pasturage to sheep. Even in the eastern counties, which are less 
exposed to the westerly moisture-laden winds, the rainfall is ample, and numerous 
rivers and rivulets irrigate the soil. On an average far more rain falls than in 
France,* and though, owing to the greater humidity of the atmosphere, the 
amount of evaporation is less, the area occupied by marshes is of small extent 
In England this circumstance is due to the undulations of the soil, which 





Fig. 12.- 


Diagram exhibiting 


THE Annual March 


OF Temperat 


UBE. 




'de^g. 


jan. 


Febr. 


March. 


April. 


May. 


June. 


July. 


Aug. 


Sept. 


Oct. 


Nov. 


Dec. 
















^ . 


^ 






















oA 


'V^-S 


^^« ^^ 






















;/^- 




^-iJ 


>s 








-dU— 










.) 


T-" r.j 


j^\ u fc 


-^.. 




















.0°/- 


■ > 


,r>/o 


-^^^ 




\, 


















A^' 






^-■---. 


\"' 














J 


/''' / 


'^^^' . 


■3^ 




\-- 


' \ ■*- 






Kl\° 








// 


/.- 


' yk>- 


\^y 




\ 


^\\ " 


"^••s 












/ 


//- . 


'^<^^' 








^'\ 




,c» 










^' y. 


-4v-° 










\ 


\. " . 


•-?«-., 




aea.... 


-.•-r.*-'.": 


::-.^ 




r-g<0-v 










^5 


k\. 










y . 


y\ 














^*^^ 








^^ 


yy 
















^ 


^^-*. 




s:~->^ 


/"^^..^ 




















^ 






















































82° 



























facilitate the drainage of the land ; whilst in Ireland the surplus waters collect 
in lakes, occupying rocky cavities, or are sucked up by peat bogs, without filling 
the air with, pestiferous miasmata. 

The rainfall is most considerable in the west, because the mountain ranges 
extending north and south intercept the westerly winds which travel across the wide 
expanse of the Atlantic, and compel them to part with most of the moisture they 
carry. In Ireland the quantity of rain increases gradually as we proceed from the 
west to the east coast, and the same phenomenon, on a larger scale, may be observed 
in Great Britain. Nowhere else is the influence which mountain ranges exercise 
upon the distribution of rain more strikingly exhibited, its amount being in every 
case most considerable along the western slope. At Whitehaven, which lies at 
the western foot of the Cumbrian hUls, the annual fall of rain is 47 inches, whilst 



* Average rainfall in France (Delesse) 
M M Oreat Britain 

„ „ Ireland 



30 inches. 
33 „ 
36 „ 



CLIMATE. 



21 



at York, beyond the Pennine range, it is only 29 inches. Still more considerable 
are the differences between the lowlands and the mountainous districts. In the 
west of Great Britain and in Ireland, in the immediate neighbourhood of high 
hills, the average rainfall is from 80 to 150 inches, and in certain localities it is 
higher. Thus at the Stye, in Cumberland, 950 feet above the level of the sea, 
224 inches of rain fell in 1866, a quantity immensely in excess of what has been 
recorded in any other part of the temperate zone, and exceeded only by the 
downpour at certain localities lying within the topics.* 

It was Mr. Dalton who first observed that the rainfall in the British Isles is 
most considerable in autumn, and not in summer, as in Central Europe. There 
are, however, a few stations where, owing to local causes, the maximum occurs in 
winter or in summer. 

The variability and uncertainty of the climate of Great Britain are frequently 
dwelt upon as a great disadvantage, but a dispassionate inquiry, and, above all, a 
comparison with other lands, popularly supposed to be more favourably circum- 
stanced, must convince us that there are equal countervailing advantages. Sudden 
changes of temperature and moisture may prove hurtful in the case of certain 
diseases, but the climate upon the whole is favourable to the development of the 
physical powers, and hence of the moral and intellectual endowments of man. 
King Charles II. was not far wrong when, in answer to some disparaging remarks 
of his courtiers, who extolled the climates of Italy, Spain, and France, at the 
expense of that of England, he said he thought "that was the best climate 
where he could be abroad in the air with pleasure, or at least without trouble and 
inconvenience, the most days of the year and the most hours of the day ; and this 
he thought he could be in England more than in any other country in Europe." t 



.* Average Eainfall in Inches. 

Winter. Spring. Summer. Autumn. Year. 

Eastern slope of Great Britain : — 

EdinlDurgh 5-8 5-3 6-7 T'i 25 

York 5-1 5-1 7-1 11-4 28 

Oxford 4-8 4-5 7*1 7-3 23 

London 4-0 3-8 5-6 5-8 19 

HuU 3-2 2-1 7-0 5-8 18 

South Coast : — 

Gosport 8-2 6-9 7'1 10-1 32 

Penzance 14-1 9*4 8-4 14-0 45 

Western slope of Great Britain : — 

Liverpool 7*3 6*2 9-8 10-8 34 

Manchester 8*1 6-9 9-9 10-6 35 

Lancaster 11-2 6-4 112 11*7 40 

Kendal 16-1 9-6 12-7 15-3 53 

Seathwaite (Borrowdale) . . 43-0 22-8 33*2 43-2 142 

Whitehaven 12-7 7-1 13-7 13-8 47 

Glasgow 5-3 3-7 6-4 5*8 21 

Ireland : — 

West Port 12-3 117 11-7 10-1 45 

Limerick 7*7 7-1 9-3 lO'l 34 

Armagh 9-6 6-8 8-9 9-4 34 

Duhlin 6-8 5-9 8-1 8-5 29 

t Sir W. Temple, Works, iii. p. 220. 



22 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

The influence of this cUmate upon the animal creation, and even upon the 
vegetable kingdom, is as favourable as upon the human constitution. The 
warmth of summer is never so great, nor is its accession so sudden, as to occasion 
a too rapid development or too high excitement of organized bodies; nor the cold 
of winter so extreme as to depress their vitality to an injurious degree. The 
natural formation, soil, and cultivation, with few exceptions, prevent the generation 
of marsh effluvia, whilst the fresh and strong westerly winds which prevaol, 

Fig. 13.— Eain Map of the British Isles. 
According to Symons. Scale 1 : 10,600,000. 




ENGLISH 



W.oF Or 



fTTTTm UTTMim ■■ 

Under 25 in. 26 to 30 in. 80 to 40 in 40 to 45 in. 45 to 75 in. Over 75 in. 



100 Miles. 



owiDg to the position of the country, cause a continued renewal of the atmosphere, 
even in the closest and most crowded streets of the manufacturing towns.* 

These climatic conditions have, moreover, vastly contributed to make the 
British Isles a geographical whole, and in amalgamating the various races by 
whom they are inhabited. In most other countries migration is attended with 
considerable risk, and a period of acclimatization has usually to be passed through. 
In Great Britain the natives of either England or Scotland may exchange homes 
* MacCulloch, " Statistical Account of the British Empire," i. 



FLORA. 28 

without being inconvenienced to the same extent as would Bretons or Proven9al8 
under similar circumstances. On the other hand, foreigners born under brighter 
skies generally complain about the paleness of the sun, and of the fogs, which in 
some of the towns, where they are impregnated with the smoke rising from thou- 
sands of chimneys, are very dense, and hinder the free circulation of the air. 



Flora. / 
In its main features the British flora resembles that of Continental Europe, with 
a strong intermingling of American species, increasing in number as we travel 
towards the west. There are only a few plants not indigenous to Continental 
Europe, of which the most remarkable is the jointed pipe wort, or Eriocaulon 
septangular Cy a native of tropical America, found in the Isle of Skye and in the 
west of Ireland, whither the gulf- stream has carried it. 

The researches of botanists have clearly established the fact that the existing 
flora is the outcome of successive floral invasions which transpired during the 
tertiary age, whilst the British Islands still formed a part of the neighbouring 
continent. The first of these invasions of surviving species took place probably in 
the eocene age, and is confined to the hilly parts of South-western Ireland. It is 
an alpine flora, quite distinct from the flora of the Scotch and "Welsh mountains, 
and has been traced to the Western Pyrenees. A second botanical province 
embraces Devonshire and Cornwall, South Wales, and a considerable portion of 
Southern Ireland. When this flora first obtained, a footing upon the British Isles a 
barrier must have stretched across what is now the English Channel to Brittany and 
Normandy. Some of its most characteristic species are the beautiful ciliated heath, 
the purple spurge, and the graceful Sibthorpia. A third invasion took place when 
England was joined to the north of France. This flora is more especially deve- 
loped in the chalk districts of South-eastern England. To this succeeded, during 
the glacial period, an invasion of alpine plants, principally from Norway, which 
survive on the hills of Wales, Northern England, and Scotland. When the 
glaciers finally melted away, and the land emerged anew, there occurred the 
fifth invasion, the last in order of time, but the most important in its influence on 
the character of British vegetation. This invasion emanated from Germany, at 
that period joined to the British Isles by a wide plain stretching across the southern 
portion of the North Sea. This hardy flora rapidly spread over the country, 
where it found a congenial soil ; it invaded Scotland and Ireland, mingled with 
the floras of more ancient date, and pushed them back to the west and south-west. 

Though Europe has played the principal part in giving to the British Isles 
their vegetable clothing, America, too, has contributed a share ; but whilst the 
European species migrated by land, those of American origin were carried to these 
shores, as to the coast of Norway, through the agency of the gulf-stream, and 
hence they are most numerous on the Hebrides, the Orkneys, and the Shetland 
Islands, where they outnumber European species. 

Climate has exercised a paramount influence upon the distribution of British 



24 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



plants. The cool summer prevents the ripening of many fruits which flourish in 
countries having a far lower mean annual temperature, whilst the mildness of winter 
has rendered it possible to naturalise many plants of southern climes, which the cold 
winter of the north of Continental Europe would kill. Apricots, peaches, and grapes 
only ripen, with rare exceptions, when afforded the shelter of a wall ; yet myrtles 
and other evergreens flourish in the open air, and the strawberry-tree {Arbutus 
unedo), with its rich foliage and red berries, forms a charming feature in the 
woods of Killarney. Many exotics, including even natives of the tropics, have 
been successfully introduced, and add to the beauty of pleasure grounds and 

Fig. 14.-— Yuccas on Tkesco (Scillt Islands^. 




parks. Cacti grow in the rocks near Torquay ; the American aloe flourishes in 
Salcombe Bay ; magnolias from South America, proteas from the Cape, and 
camellias from Japan, are successfully cultivated ; and on Tresco, one of the Scilly 
Islands, we meet with a fine avenue of yuccas. But ornamental plants are not 
the only exotics, for most of the bread corns, including wheat, barley, and rye ; 
the potato ; much of the produce of the kitchen gardens ; and many other plants 
now widely cultivated, have been derived from other and warmer climates. 

In Roman and Saxon times a considerable part of the country was covered 
with forests, formed, as now, of oaks and beeches, birches and Scotch firs, 



FLOEA. 



25 



almost to the exclusion of other trees. Most of these forests have either wholly- 
disappeared, or have been considerably reduced in size. Extensive woods survive, 
however, in portions of Scotland and England, the most famous being the New 
Forest in Hampshire, Dean Forest in Gloucestershire, and Sherwood Forest in 
Nottinghamshire. There the lover of nature may still ramble beneath woodland 

Fig. 16.— An English Homestead. 




trees, whilst elsewhere, though the name of " forest " is retained, the trees have 
disappeared to make room for fields and pastures ; and though Great Britain 
does not equal certain continental countries in the extent of its forests, it is 
still appropriately described as a " woody region." From the southern shore of 
England to the foot of the Grampians, beyond the Clyde and the Tay, and 
for several hundred feet up the slopes of the mountains, this woody region 



26 



THE BKITISH ISLES. 



stretches. It is eloquently described by Mr. Watson* as - an undulating plain of 
meadows, pastures, and cultivated fields, separated from each other by hawthorn 
hedges or stone walls, and thickly interspersed with parks, woods, gardens, towns, 
and high-roads, altogether betokening a climate where man may attain a high state 
of civilisation, and live for ease and pleasure, as well as for laborious occupations. 
It is the region where the trees flourish, and the flowers, rendered classic by our poets, 
bloom, and is not less loved by many of us, because their very commonness has 
made them familiar by vernacular names, without the aid of botanical systems or 
a dead language. It is, jt)«r excellence, the land of the daisy and cowslip, the oak 
and hawthorn, the hazel copse and the woodbine bower : the region of fruits and 
flowers, where the trees of the forest unite a graceful beauty with strength and 
majesty, and where the fresh greensward of the pasture, commingling with the 
yellow waves of the corn-field, tells to us that here at least 

' The cheek of Spring 
Smiles in the kiss of Autumn.' 

" Black swampy moors, such as deface so large a portion of the next, or barren, 
region, are in this of comparatively rare occurrence and small extent. The downs 
and chases in early spring are covered with the countless blossoms of the golden 
gorse, or the more gaudy broom, and empurpled with the different kinds of heath 
during summer and autumn. Little, indeed, as we may regard these shrubs, in 
Sweden and North Russia the gorse is prized as we prize the myrtles of the 
south ; and our common heaths are unknown over a wide extent of Europe. The 
oak, ash, yew, hornbeam, alders, elms, poplars, and willows are the principal native 
trees of this region ; the first four gradually yielding to the pine, white birch, and 
mouiitain ash as we approach the higher portion, forming the upland zone. The 
beech, sycamore, and Spanish chestnut have been introduced, and the first two now 
spring up self-sown and readily. A climate in which the heat of summer is rarely 
excessive, and where rain and clouds are so frequent, is unadapted to the spon- 
taneous growth of fruits, and we accordingly find our native productions poor in 
the extreme. The wild cherry, crab, bullace, and native pear are the arborescent 
fruit trees. The raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, sloe, hazel nut, hip and haw, 
form a very indifferent catalogue for our shrubby and herbaceous fruit plants. The 
cranberry, bilberry, and crowberry, with the fruit of the mountain ash and juniper, 
common to this and the barren region, are greatly surpassed by one fruit, almost 
peculiar to the latter, viz. the cloudberry. Lastly, the different kinds of goose- 
berries and currants cultivated in our gardens are probably derived from species 
indigenous to Britain, and are very apt to spring up in our woods and hedges from 
translated seeds." 

When we leave these smiling lowlands, so characteristic of England, we pass 
through an upland affording excellent pasturage for sheep and cattle, and finally 
enter the barren tracts of moorlands and peat bogs, which cover a wide area in the 
Highlands of Scotland, no less than in the mountain regions of England and Wales. 

* " Distribution of British Plants." 



FAUNA. 27 



Fauna. 



The British fauna has undergone many vicissitudes in the course of ages. Not 
only have large mammals, which we know to have been the contemporaries of pre- 
historic man, perished, but even during historical times, as civilisation progressed, 
and land was more and more brought under cultivation, several wild animals 
have been exterminated. Of the existence of such southern types as the cave lion, 
the hippopotamus, the mammoth, and hyena, or of the northern reindeer and the 
great Irish deer, we only possess records furnished by deposits in caverns and river 
gravels. The wild ox, a fierce and powerful animal of white colour, which 
abounded in the time of the Romans, still browses in Hamilton Forest, near 
Cadzow Castle, in Lanarkshire, and in a few other parks, but it is virtually extinct 
as a wild animal. British bears, which excited much admiration at Rome, were 
last heard of in the eleventh century, when a Gordon, as a reward for his valour in 
killing one, was granted three bears' heads as a coat of arms. The wolf, during 
Anglo-Saxon times, was a most destructive animal, and, to encourage its exter- 
mination, wolves' tongues were accepted in expiation of certain crimes, and in 
payment of the tribute exacted from the Welsh. But it survived, for all that, for 
many centuries afterwards, and the last was killed in Scotland in 1680, and in 
Ireland only in the beginning of the eighteenth century. The wild boar was 
extirpated at the time of the Civil War, having been preserved up till then as a 
favourite animal of chase. The beaver, even at the time when Giraldus Cambrensis 
travelled in Wales, in 1188, had become scarce, and was confined to a few rivers 
of that principality ; and birds, though far better able than land animals to elude 
their pursuers, have become extinct almost within the memory of man. The original 
capercailzie, or great cock of the wood, still frequent in Europe, and formerly in 
the fir woods of Scotland and Ireland, has not been seen since 1760, whilst the great 
bustard {Otis tarda) has disappeared more recently. The latter had its last home 
on the downs of Wiltshire. 

The only wild carnivorous quadrupeds still forming part of the British fauna 
are the fox, the badger, the otter, the weasel, the polecat, the stoat, the marten, 
and the wild cat. All of these have become scarce, and the fox, at all events, 
would have been exterminated long ago, if it were not for the protection extended 
to it by the lovers of field sports. 

The ruminating animals are represented by the stag, or red deer, the roebuck, 
and the fallow deer, the latter now extending to Ireland. The stag is confined 
to the Highlands of Scotland, Exmoor Forest, and the woods of Killarney, but 
formerly its range was far more extensive. Amongst gnawing animals are the 
hare, rabbit, squirrel, and dormouse, together with a large variety of rats and 
mice, whilst the insect eaters include the hedgehog and the mole, which are general 
in fields and heaths throughout England. 

Very considerable is the number of birds, not in species only, but also in 
individuals, and since legislation has spread its sheltering mantle over most of 
them, the day when British woods and fields will be without their feathered 



28 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

songsters is probably a very remote one. Many of these birds are stationary ; 
others only visit the British Isles during part of the year. Amongst stationary 
birds are many sweet songsters — including, thrushes, finches, linnets, blackbirds, 
and skylarks — robins and sparrows, rooks, crows, and starlings, the latter 
devouring prodigious quantities of slugs, worms, &c., so noxious to the farmer, 
whilst others render themselves equally useful by keeping within bounds the 
myriads of insects. In this task they are aided by numerous songsters and 
other birds which arrive as the heralds of spring, and return to more congenial 
climates in the fall of the year. Amongst these birds of passage are the swallow, 
the cuckoo, the martin, the quail, the stork (a very rare visitor), and the nightin- 
gale, which occasionally extends its wanderings as far as Yorkshire, but never 
crosses over to Ireland. Other birds, whose breeding-places are in the arctic 
regions, visit the British Islands in winter. Most prominent among these are 
fieldfares, woodcocks, snipes, swans, ducks, geese, and a variety of aquatic birds. 
Amongst game birds the partridge, the black grouse or heath-fowl, and the red 
grouse or moorfowl are the most common, the first named increasing with extend- 
ing cultivation, whilst the latter two are confined to the wild moorlands of 
Northern England, Scotland, and Ireland. The ptarmigan, which had a wide 
range formerly, occurs now only in the wildest parts of Scotland and in the 
Hebrides. The pheasant, like most of the domesticated birds, is of foreign origin. 

Birds of prey become scarcer every day, but the golden eagle still frequents 
the high mountain regions, whilst the sea eagle is common along the western 
shore, from the Shetland Islands as far as South Wales. 

Frogs and toads abound in certain localities, but reptiles proper are very scarce, 
being confined to lizards, efts, harmless snakes, and the common viper, or adder, 
the latter alone being venomous. In Ireland there are no snakes. 

The seas and rivers, as far as they are not polluted by the refuse of factories 
and towns, abound in fish, Crustacea, and molluscs. Amongst sea fish the most 
highly valued are the cod, turbot, mackerel, herring, pilchard, sole, and haddock, 
whilst the rivers and lakes, more especially in Scotland and Ireland, yield salmon, 
trout, char, and other fish. English oysters were so greatly esteemed in antiquity 
that they were sent to Rome, and ''natives" have lost none of their reputation at 
the present day. 

Inhabitants. 

Of the earliest history of man as an inhabitant of the British Isles there exist 
only geological records, and these tend to prove that his first advent dates back to 
a time antecedent to the great glacial epoch,* but that he returned to more 
congenial lands as the gluciation proceeded. By degrees he adapted himself to 
the severity of the climate, and, like the Greenlander of our own time, lived in 
comparative comfort on the edges of glaciers and snow-fields. That he was a 
contemporary of the mammoth and other mammals now extinct is sufficiently 
proved by the discovery of his rude implements associated with the bones of these 
* Ramsay, " Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain." 



INHABITANTS. 29 

animals. The famous Wookey Hole, near Wells, yielded the bones of various 
carnivorous animals, including the hyena, the wolf, and the bear, as well as 
those of the mammoth, rhinoceros, reindeer, Bos primigenius, gigantic Irish deer, 
and horse, together with rudely shaped implements made of flint and burnt bones. 
Similar remains have been unearthed in other caves and in older valley gravels, 
the implements in these instances being of rude workmanship, such as are 
usually assigned to the palaeolithic or old stone age. Far more frequent, how- 
ever, has been the discovery of polished celts and other articles indicating a 
higher stage of civilisation. These relics of the neolithic age occur everywhere 
throughout the British Isles, from Caithness to Cornwall, and from the east 
coast of England to the west coast of Ireland. Even in the bleak Orkney and 
Shetland Islands, and all over the Inner and Outer Hebrides, they have been 
met with.* Neolithic man was associated with a mammalian fauna very difi'erent 
from that of the palaeolithic age, its most characteristic members being dogs, horses, 
pigs, several breeds of oxen, the bison, the red deer, and the great Irish deer. 

Still further and fuller evidence of the presence of prehistoric man is furnished 
by sepulchral barrows, cairns, and cromlechs, and by the remains of human 
habitations. The most interesting amongst these latter are the crannoges, so 
abundant in Ireland and Scotland. The first of these lake dwellings was dis- 
covered in 1839, in the small Lake of Lagore, near Dunshaughlin, in the county 
of Meath. Besides the bones of domestic animals, it yielded weapons and other 
articles made of stone, bone, wood, bronze, iron, and silver, thus proving that it must 
have been inhabited from the most remote to a comparatively recent period ; and 
in reality some of these Irish lake dwellings served as places of refuge down 
to the middle of the seventeenth century. Those crannoges are not constructed 
on piles over the water, like the lake dwellings of Switzerland, but are placed 
upon islands, in many instances artificial, and enclosed by a stockade of timber. 
A narrow causeway generally connected them with the land, and boats cut out 
of a single piece of oak have been found near them. The harrows, or artificial 
mounds of earth erected for sepulchral purposes, as well as the cairm, or heaps 
of stone piled up with the same objects, or as memorials, have furnished even 
more interesting information on the ancient inhabitants of the country. Many 
of them date back to prehistoric times, but others have been constructed since 
the occupation of the country by Romans and Saxons. The oldest barrows are 
of a longish shape ; the skulls found in them are, with scarcely an exception, 
dolichocephalic ; and most of the implements are of polished stone, or neolithic. 
Neither bronze nor iron weapons have been discovered in them. According to 
Huxley, people by whom these barrows, as well as most of the chambered gallery 
graves, were erected, were kinsmen of the Iberians and Aquitani.f They were 
a dark people, and the Silures, who inhabited South-western England and the Cas- 
siterides, or Tin Islands, belonged to them. They are described by Greek writers 
as having curly hair and dark complexions, and as comparatively civilised in their 

* James Geikie, "The Great Ice Age." 
t " Critiques and Addresses," 1873. 



^„ THE BRITISH ISLES. 

habits Of this dark race no trace exists at the present day, except perhaps in 
'^^:^'^r^:Z:^^^^ -possessed these .r..r 
.hlrts 0. the .ost fertile --ts .^ -.ej^^^^^^^^ .^ra^ tl 
n =ed l: Sir = :Z:t:^ .- o^er- -. 0. 
Sand and Scotland'as far as the Tay, and P^^^^P^ ;-^^?y?"5 J^^/^J 
driving the Gaels into the more sterile mountainous parts and mto Ireland In 
Western Wales the Gaels, or "Gwyddel," maintained the.r ground up to the 
iTh century, when the last remnants sought a refuge amongst thexr kxnsmen n. 



Fig. 16.-THE -GIA^•T•8 Quoit" at Lanyon. near Penzance. 








Ireland; but long before that time the great TeutoDic immigration, which 
thoroughly changed the character of the population of England, had commenced. 

When Julius CaDsar landed in England, fifty-five years before the Christian 
era, he found the coast in the occupation of blue- eyed, fair-haired Belgse, who 
tilled the land, kept cattle, and made use of copper and iron rings for money. 
The inland part, however, was inhabited by " those who, according to existing 
tradition, were the aborigines of the island." These " inland people," Julius 
CaDsar says in his " Commentaries," " for the most part do not sow corn, but 
live on milk and flesh, and are clothed in skins. They all stain themselves with 
woad, which makes them of a blue tinge, and gives them a fearful appearance in 



INHABITANTS. 81 

battle ; they also wear their hair long, and shave every part of the body except 
the head and the upper lip. Every ten or twelve of them have their wives in 
common, especially brothers with brothers, and parents with children ; but 
if any children are born they are accounted the children of those by whom 
each maiden was first espoused." Druidism flourished among these Britons as 
vigorously as with their kinsmen in Gaul. Amongst these British tribes were 
Morinii, Ehemi, and Atrebatii, as in Northern France. The Atrebatii were more 
civilised than the others, and had grown wealthy through their agriculture and 
industry. 

The Roman occupation, however great its influence upon the progress of 
civilisation, afiected but little the ethnical composition of the population. When 
the great empire fell to pieces, and Britain became a prey to anarchy, the Teutonic 
tribes of Northern Europe, who had long harassed its coasts, obtained a permanent 
footing in it, exterminating or reducing to a state of servitude the inhabitants 
whom they found dwelling there, or driving them to the sterile hilly districts. 
Warlike Jutes established themselves on the Isle of Thanet, in Kent, on the Isle 
of Wight, and on the coast of Hampshire ; Saxons, with kindred tribes from Lower 
Germany, amongst whom the Friesians were the most prominent, occupied the 
basin of the Thames as well as the coasts of Essex and Sussex, still named after 
them ; Angles, from the southern part of the Cimbrian peninsula, drove the 
Britons out of Central and Northern England. Later still an invasion of Danes 
and Northmen took place, and last of all William the Conqueror, with his 
fifty thousand French-speaking Normans, landed. No warlike invasion has taken 
place since then, but the population of the British Islands, already of such 
diverse origin, has repeatedly received fresh accessions of kindred or alien immi- 
grants, and is receiving them annually, down to the present day. Religious 
persecution drove thousands of Flemings and Frenchmen to the shores of England, 
where they founded new industries, and in course of time amalgamated with 
the people. Palatines settled in the country when driven from their homes 
by the ruthless hosts of Louis XIY., and political refugees of all nations have 
at all times found a secure asylum on British soil. The stock of the actual 
population of the British Isles consists of northern types, viz. Celtic Britons 
and Teutonic Saxons, Northmen, and kindred tribes. It is not in accordance 
with facts to comprehend so mixed a people under the general term of Anglo- 
Saxons, as if it had had no other ancestors than the Germanic invaders who came 
from the banks of the Elbe and the Cimbrian peninsula. The name of Anglo- 
Celts, suggested by Huxley and other anthropologists, is the only one by which 
the people of England, no less than of the British Isles collectively, can be 
appropriately designated. In ordinary conA^ersation, however, names are indif- 
ferently made use of which, far from being synonyms, convey contradictory 
notions as to the origin of the population. We speak of " Great Britain " as 
distinguished from "Little Britain," or Bretagne, as if that island were still 
in the sole occupation of Celtic Britons. On the other hand, the name of 
"England," or "Land of the Angles," is geographically applied to the whole 



32 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

southern portion of Great Britain, and frequently used in a still more compre- 
hensive sense. 

But although the Anglo-Celtic population of the British Islands is upon the 
whole a mixed one, it is not difficult to point out certain districts where one or 
other of its constituent elements preponderates. In Western Ireland, in the 
Highlands of Scotland, in the Cumbrian mountains, in Wales, and in Cornwall the 
old Celtic type still maintains its ground ; Angles, Saxons, Friesians, and Jutes are 
most numerous along the east coast, upon which their ancestors first efiected a 
landing, and in the adjoining districts. The Danish element is strongly repre- 
sented in the whole of the region, embracing fifteen counties, from Hertford to 
Durham, which was formerly known as the district of the *' Danelagh," or Danish 
Law. The Northmen preponderate in the northern parts of Great Britain. 
Firmly established on the Orkneys, they founded colonies on the coasts of 
Scotland, Cumberland, and Northumberland. As to the ancient masters and 
settlers of the country, their memory survives in the names of rivers and moun- 
tains, towns and villages.* Nearly all the river names are Celtic, being derived 
from four words {afon, don, uisge, and dwr), aU meaning "river" or '* water." 

The British Celts occupy the most remote districts of the British Isles,! whilst 
the immigrants of Teutonic race have established themselves nearest to the con- 
tinent. This geographical distribution of the two races has exercised a most potent 
influence upon the history of Europe. Great Britain has been likened by Michelet + 
to a huge ship which turns her prow towards France ; and this prow is occupied 
by men of Teutonic origin, whilst the Celts are kept in the background, in remote 
peninsulas and in Ireland. The contrast between the two nations dwelling on 
either side of the Channel is abrupt, and without ethnical transition. France 
formerly stood face to face with her enemy, whilst her natural allies of kindred 
race were far away, and often beyond reach, and never were wars waged with 
greater fury than those between the Saxon islander and the continental Gaul. 
But, fortunately for mankind, this ancient hatred has died out, and a feeling of 
mutual respect and friendship now animates the two neighbouring nations. 

Happily for England, her intercourse with the remainder of the world has 
not always been of a warlike nature. The British Isles are rich in deep and 
spacious harbours — far more so than France ; and in comparing the coasts of the 
two countries we may even say that "Father Ocean has a bias for England." 
England, besides, enjoys the advantage of higher tides, which enable vessels of 

* Kemble, " The Saxons in England; " Wright, " The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon; " Skene, 
« Celtic Scotland." 

t Number of Celtic-speaking persons throughout the British Isles:— 

Irish Gaels 867,600 

Manxinen 12 500 

Scotch Gaels 309,300 

Cymri (Welsh) 996,500 

Total . . . 2,185,900 

Of the above about 457,000 cannot speak EngUsh. (E. G. Ravenstein, Journal of the Statistical Societv, 
1879.) . 

X " Histoire de France," ii. 



INHABITANTS. 



83 



considerable burden to penetrate the estuaries of her rivers, almost to the heart of 
the country. As long as the British Isles were thinly peopled, and produced 
sufficient to supply the wants of the inhabitants, foreign commerce, as might have 
been expected, did not attain considerable proportions. Yet London, even before 
the arrival of the Eomans, engaged in maritime commerce, and during the Middle 
Ages, whenever its citizens had a respite from civil commotions and foreign wars, 
they resumed their commercial activity. The ancestors of many of the inhabitants 
of the coast were hardy Northmen, and from them they inherited a love of maritime 
adventure, and an eager longing to struggle with waves and tempests. Yet it 
was not they who took the lead in those memorable discoveries which brought the 



Fig. 17.— Gaeis and Cymri. 




Di'striciff iny which/I per ctmt> 
oftka InhaiuanXje ■ipexLhCeUxjCA 



n ^i 



Mer cF Greenw 



countries of the world nearer to each other, and converted a space without limits 
into a simple globe, easily encompassed by man. The glory of having discovered 
the ocean routes to the Indies and the Pacific was fated to be won by the 
mariners of the more civilised nations of Southern Europe. But the seamen of 
England quickly learnt to find out new ocean routes for themselves, and soon their 
audacity and endurance placed them at the head of all their rivals. The expeditions 
which they sent forth to the arctic regions to discover a north-west passage to 
China, and which they still continue to equip, no longer for the sake of commerce, 
but out of a pure love for science, are amongst the most heroic enterprises recorded 
by history. But where one English vessel ventured into unknown seas, hundreds 



84 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

followed the routes already discovered, establishing commercial relations with 
distant countries, destroying the factories of rival traders, and landing troops and 
colonists. By degrees the admirable geographical position of England with 
reference to Europe, America, and the whole of the habitable world revealed itself. 
Its situation at the western extremity of the European continent marked it out as 
the natural intermediary of the commerce carried on between the Baltic, Germany, 
Netherlands, and France on the one hand, and America on the other ; and whilst 
the trade winds and the equatorial current sped the progress of vessels sailing to 
the West Indies, the gulf-stream facilitated their return to the shores of Europe. 
London, as was first pointed out by Sir John Herschel, occupies very nearly the 
geometrical centre of that hemisphere which embraces the greater part of the land, 
and consequently no city is more favourably situated for attracting the world's 
maritime commerce* This magnificent geographical position in a large measure 
accounts for the commercial preponderance of England. English commerce grew 
apace, but the English colonists established in distant countries never relaxed in 
their efforts to extend it still farther. No colonising nation, the Dutch alone 
excepted, has brought greater zeal and more sustained effort to bear upon the 
work it had taken in hand ; and thus a small European people, numbering hardly 
5,000,000 souls at the time it entered upon its career of conquest, has gradually 
extended its dominions, until they embrace the sixth part of the habitable 
globe, and close upon 300,000,000 human beings. In addition to this there are 
wide territories in India, in . Arabia, in Africa, and elsewhere, which do not 
officially form part of the British Empire, but where English influence is never- 
theless paramount, and the request of an English consul is tantamount to a 
command. Travellers who explore distant countries contribute in no small 
degree to the extension of British influence, for whether they wish it or not, they 
are looked upon as the representatives of British power, and the precursors of 
conquering armies. There is not a country in the world where these British 
travellers and explorers are not to be met with, either simply in search of 
adventure, or anxious to do honour to the country of their birth by their dis- 
coveries. Whilst artisans and labourers expatriate themselves, because in another 
hemisphere they hope to acquire the comforts and independence they lack at 
home, there are also thousands of the younger sons of the aristocracy whom no 
responsibilities tie to the land of their birth, and who are at all, times ready to 
exchange their place of abode. Deprived of a share in the paternal acres, they, 
like modern Mamertines, take the whole earth for their domain, and turn their 
backs upon the land which dispenses with their services. 

And whilst mariners, colonists, and explorers discover and occupy new lands 
beyond the ocean, the miners who remain at home explore the riches of an under- 
ground world. British ships bring cotton, rice, and spices ; the miners raise coal 
from the bowels of the earth, and it would be difficult to tell whose share of work 
is most contributive towards an increase of British power. Huge industrial towns 

* the hemisphere having London for its centre embraces 16-1 7ths of the land, that of which New 
Zealand is the centre only l-17th. 



INHABITANTS. 



35 



have arisen where formerly there stood only agricultural villages and walled 
burghs : a manufacturing district of wide extent in the north serves as a counter- 
poise to the agricultural region of Southern England. Birmingham, Sheffield, 
Manchester, Leeds, and all the rising towns around them, are of spontaneous 
growth, and not the creations of an all-directing capital. They lead their own life, 
and each of them has become a centre of thought, independent of London. The 
great industrial movement of our age has originated in these towns, and spread 
thence over Europe and the whole world. We owe to them the application of new 
processes of manufacture and the improvements of machinery, for the factories of 
Lancashire and Yorkshire have served as patterns to similar establishments in other 
parts of the world. English hydraulic engineers, who were content formerly to 
follow in the wake of their Dutch colleagues, have struck out paths of their own, 



Fig. 18. — The Bbitish Colonies. 









rib. Guiana 



iHtctn dtCuHhm 



Cape Coiy 



and we have seen that even in the Netherlands there exist now large works of 
canalisation which they have carried out. 

In the manufacturing districts of Great Britain smoke mingles so largely with 
the atmosphere as to have wholly changed the aspect of nature. There are 
towns where the heavens are permanently obscured by smoke, where the houses, 
including even public buildings, most sumptuously furnished in the interior, are 
covered with soot, and a shower of ''blacks" is for ever descending upon the 
trees and lawns. The factories have thus, as it were, changed the climate ; but their 
influence upon the social condition of the people has been even greater. They 
have, more than any other agency of contemporaneous civilisation, influenced the 
mode of life of the people, and laid the seeds of a great revolution. England, before 
all other nations, found itself face to face with the formidable problem presented 
by the modern proletariate. It is there that* the great masses are involved in the 



36 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

fluctuations of commerce; there that disputes between masters and workmen 
have assumed the largest proportions, and the workmen's trades unions dispose 
of the most considerable forces. Not an event takes place in Europe but its 
effects are felt in the workshops of England. Not a change can be made in the 
wages of the English factory hands without the labour markets of the whole world 
immediately feeling the effect. 

In addition to the direct influence which England brings so powerfully to 
bear upon the destinies of other nations, it exerts, through its distant colonies, 
an indirect influence of the utmost importance. Unhappily English colonisa- 
tion has not always proved a benefit to the aboriginal populations whose countries 
have been occupied. Where the English colonist sets his foot, the days of nomadic 
tribes of fishermen and hunters are numbered, and even agricultural tribes do 
not always survive contact with the civilisation forced upon them. True there 
still exist nations beyond the pale of Europe at once too numerous and too far 
advanced in civilisation to make us fear their extermination ; but the white man 
has nevertheless violently intervened in their history, and none more decisively 
than the Englishman and his American kinsman. It was they who forced the 
people of Japan to take part in the movement of Western civilisation, and broke 
down the barriers behind which China had entrenched herself. The vast multi- 
tude inhabiting the peninsula of India obey the orders of the Empress-Queen seated 
upon the banks of the Thames. A deep gulf still separates the haughty Englishman 
from the timorous Hindu, and the time when the two will be able fully to enter 
into each other's thoughts is probably very remote. Yet the presence of the 
European conqueror has wrought greater changes in the material and social con- 
ditions of the population of India than the twenty centuries which preceded his 
reign. Railways, schools, and printing-presses have totally overthrown this 
ancient world, and a new life is penetrating a society formerly strictly regulated 
by caste and tradition. If ever the peoples of that beautiful peninsula should 
learn to govern themselves, and to live side by side in peace and the enjoyment of 
liberty, the first impulses will have come from England. 

The increasing extension of the English language in civilised and barbarous 
nations cannot fail to spread English ideas amongst men of various races. 
M. Alphonse de CandoUe, in a well-known book,* develops an idea already 
expressed before him by various authors, and insists upon the importance which 
English must, in course of time, acquire as a universal language. It is spoken 
not merely in the British Isles, but also in America, in Australia, in every centre of 
commerce, and even in the most remote islands of the Pacific. In reality it 
is the mother tongue of some 77,000,000 of human beings ; f but if we include 

♦ '* Histoire des Sciences et des Savants depuis deux sifecles." 

t Distribution of persons whose mother tongue is English : — 

In Europe 34,000,000 

In the Lmted States . 35,000,000 

In British North America 3 300 OOO 

In Australasia [ [ 2',75o',000 

In South Africa 300,000 

In other liiughsh Colonies 1 620 000 

76;970,000" 



INHABITANTS. 87 

men of various races, Europeans and Americans, Africans, Chinese, Hindus, and 
Malays, who understand English, and make more or less use of it, it will be found 
that it has already become a vehicle for thought to at least 100,000,000 indi- 
viduals. If, too, we bear in mind the rapid extension of the English-speaking 
nations, and the ever-increasing importance of commercial interests, we may well 
foresee a time when double this number will transact their business in the language 
now spoken in the ports of Liverpool, New York, Sydney, and Calcutta. English 
is far more highly favoured in this expansion than either the French, Russian, or 
even the Spanish language, for there exist three great centres whence it spreads over 
the entire world. The United States and Canada contribute as powerfully to its 
extension as the mother country ; from Australia it gradually spreads over the 
islands of the Pacific ; whilst in South Africa it gains ground amongst boers, Kaffirs, 
and other natives of that continent. England and the English may almost be said 
to lay siege to the habitable world. The Spanish language has only two centres of 
dispersion, the Iberian peninsula and South America, and up till now, owing to 
the commercial inferiority of the nations by whom it is spoken, it has exhibited but 
little power of expansion As to French, though highly appreciated by all nations 
of culture as a common means of communication in matters of science and art, 
and in social and national intercourse, it has but one centre whence it can spread, 
viz. France and Algeria, for French Canada and the Antilles are too unimportant 
to make their influence felt afar. 

English is thus without a rival in the rapidity with which it extends its domain. 
It possesses, moreover, the advantage of belonging at one and the same time to 
two distinct groups of languages. Germanic in its origin, spirit, and construction, 
it also belongs to the Latin group, from which it has borrowed numerous words 
relating to art, science, politics, and the ordinary affairs of life. It is possible to 
meet with papers of a technical nature in which only the auxiliary verbs, prepo- 
sitions, and conjunctions are of the old Anglo-Saxon stock. But good writers, 
according to the subject they deal with, understand how to blend these words of 
diverse origin, as the weaver knows how to arrange his threads when reproducing 
a coloured pattern. Whilst French is easily acquired only by the Latin nations of 
Southern Europe, English, owing to its double origin, presents no greater difficulties 
to the Portuguese than to the Swede, to the Romanian than the German. It is 
absolutely foreign only to the Slavs, who, in their intercourse with the inhabitants 
of Western Europe, mostly make use of German or French ; but they, too, have 
recently paid more attention to English, which the facility with which they acquire 
foreign languages enables them to master quickly. 

Besides the advantages derived from the ubiquity of the English-speaking 
peoples, and the large number of synonyms — many words of Anglo-Saxon origin 
having been supplemented by words from the Latin conveying a similar idea — 
English possesses precious qualities as a universal language. It is distinguished, 
above all, by the simplicity of its grammar and its expressive conciseness. 
No other language has been mutilated to the same extent ; but has not this 
phonetic change emancipated thought and favoured the solution of abstract ques- 



38 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

tions ?* English writers consequently congratulate themselves upon having delivered 
their language from a " superannuated system of flexions." They are by no means 
.sorry that in some respects it should resemble the monosyllabic, and in others the 
agglutinate languages.! The want of conciseness is felt so much that in ordinary 
conversation a long word is sometimes reduced to a single syllable, and initial 
letters are substituted for proper names and titles. " What other language is there 
so expressive and concise," says Ampere, " as that in which dog means ' to follow 
some one's track like a dog in pursuit of its prey,' or where, in familiar language, 
cut conveys the meaning of * appearing not to know some one in order to break off 
an undesirable acquaintanceship ? ' " Poetical language is hardly ever capable 
of being translated, and this applies more especially to English. The language 
of Shakspere, Tennyson, and Byron is rich, powerful, vigorously precise, and 
picturesque to such a degree that the task of adequately conveying its meaning in 
other tongues is almost a hopeless one. All its vigour Vanishes in the process 
of translation, and there remains but a body without a framework. 

The ordinary speech of an Englishman, however, strikes a foreigner as being 
anything but agreeable. He misses the distinct pronunciation of vowels, and finds 
it monotonous, abounding in sibilants and even " explosives." There is none of the 
sonorousness of the Southern languages, or of the clearness and pure pronunciation 
of the French. 'No other language presents similar anomalies in its orthography, 
which etymology and a respect for tradition have caused to be adhered to, although 
in many instances it no longer corresponds with the language as it is spoken. Will 
the excess of the evil bring about its cure, as several men of thought and intelli- 
gence expect ? + At all events a reform of English spelling would facilitate the 
acquisition of the language by foreigners, and improve its chances of becoming one 
day the language of the entire world. There are bilingual countries even now 
where the children at school are taught both languages, in order that they may 
converse with all their fellow-countrymen. Would it be impossible to introduce 
this system into every country of the world, and to teach an international language, 
such as English, in addition to the mother tongue, embodying the national genius 
and its aspirations ? 

In the meantime civilisation in an English guise is rapidly gaining ground in 
every part of the world, and mainly through the agency of its language. What 
then, we may ask, is the ideal type of the powerful nation whose sons, scattered 
broadcast over the face of the earth, essay to remodel mankind on the pattern of 
Old England ? What moral influence has it already exercised upon other men, 
and what good or evil fruit is it likely to bear in the future ? 

The Englishman combines in a vigorous individuality the characteristics of the 

Celt, the German, and the Dane. He is, above all others, distinguished for strength 

of will, energy, and tenacity. He has something of the nature of the mastiff; which 

would rather be cut to pieces than let go his hold. Military history abounds in 

* Michel Breal, « Melanges de Mj-thologie et de Linguistique." 

! SlfMmtT-TT?!-^'''^^^^ ElieReclus, " Ethnography ".('' Encyclopedia Britannica "). 
+ Max Muller, On fepellmg {Fortnightly Review, vol. xix. New Series). 



INHABITANTS. 89 

examples of the steadiness exhibited by English soldiers in the field, their firmness 
in battle, and unshaken fortitude under defeat. Even the coarse boxing-matches 
now prohibited by law, but until recently admired by the multitude, bear witness 
to the possession of an exuberancy of spirit. But though the Englishman loves 
fighting for fighting's sake, he loves it still more because of the advantages that 
may be derived from it. A barren victory, in mere satisfaction of his vanity, does 
not content him, for he always aims at conquest. It has long been matter of 
observation that he thinks more of the tangible advahtages resulting from a success 
than his old rival on the other side of the Channel.* As depicted by himself, the 
typical Englishman appears under the guise of "John Bull,'' a plain, irascible, but 
good-natured old fellow, without taste,t but abounding in strong common sense, and 
fond of his purse and stomach. " Jacques Bonhomme," by a remarkable contrast, 
is represented as being lean, poor, and sad, whilst " John Bull " is fat, rich, and 
jovial. 

British energy, when exhibited for the personal advantage of individuals 
struggling for existence, is often apt to degenerate into ferocity. An Englishman 
desirous of making his way through a crowd pushes aside without ceremony those 
who obstruct his progress. The independence of which he is so proud is often 
nothing but an absolute want of sympathy for other8.+ If he yields to his natural 
inclinations, he becomes hard, cold, and egotistic. Even in the presence of 
strangers he frequently takes up the attitude of an enemy. His early national 
history tells us of frightful cruelties committed in cold blood, and not, as in other 
countries, in the exaltation of fanaticism or revenge. Abroad, whether he make 
his appearance as an exacting and distant master, as a merchant eager to transact 
business, or merely as a curious traveller enveloped in an atmosphere of frigidity, 
he inspires no feelings of love. He is respected, and sometimes even admired, but 
occasionally it happens that he is hated. He knows it, and it does not trouble 
him. The islander is an island unto himself § He never changes, and his impas- 
sive face does not reflect his inner life. It is not that he is without feelings of 
afiection : quite the contrary. If he says little, and only after due reflection, it is 
because to him every word is the forerunner of an action. !l He loves devotedly, 
and forms fast friendships, but represses his passions, and by doing so renders them 
all the more potent. 

There is not, perhaps, a people in existence amongst whom the changes 
resulting from social development have been more considerable than in the 
English. No difference could be greater than that between the ferocious Saxon 
and Dane and the modern English gentleman, who is discreet, reserved in his 
speech, kindly in his manners, obliging, aff'able, and generous. Yet this great 
change has taken place almost imperceptibly, and by slow degrees. The same 
man, now so remarkable in many respects as a product of civilisation, was a 

* Alph. Esquiros, " L'Angleterre et la vie anglaise." 

t Washington Irving, "An American in London." 

} Bulwer, "England Hnd the English." 

§ Emerson, "English Traits." 

Il Auguste Laugel, "De 1' aristocratic anglaise" [Revue des Beux-Mondes, 1872). 



4Q THE BRITISH ISLES. 

thousand years ago a brutish churl, whose deeds of violence have been placed on 
record in ancient chronicles. The wonderful transformation is the result of the 
patient and unremitting labour of years. No great political revolution has occurred 
in the country since the seventeenth century, and it is by a process of slow evolu- 
tion that the English have thus modified their character. None of the vestiges of 
the past have whoUv disappeared. In no other country can the progress of 
architecture since the davs of Saxons and Normans be studied with greater advan- 
tage Cromwell, the great leveller, razed many castles and burnt numerous 
abbeys; but from Arundel to Carnavon, from Salisbury to York, hundreds of 
these medieval structures, both feudal and monastic, survive to the present day, 
and all the world is engaged in their restoration. Ancient customs, meaningless 

Fig. 19.— Akundel Castle: Interior Quadrangle. 




to the general public, are still religiously observed. Terms in Norman French, 
no longer intelligible on the other side of the Channel, are still employed in 
legal documents and on certain occasions of state. Mediaeval costumes are worn 
by the custodians of certain royal buildings, and the children in some of the 
foundation schools are still dressed in the style in vogue at the time of the 
original founders. Leases are granted for ninety-nine and even for nine hundred 
and ninety-nine years, as if the lessor could insure the existence of his family for 
all time to come. Testamentary dispositions made in the Middle Ages remain in 
force to the present day. Even in London there are streets which are occasionally 
closed on one day in the year, by having barriers placed across them, in order to 
show that the owner of the land, although he allows the public to use them, does 
not relinquish his claim to property in the soil. "Beating the bounds*' is 



INHABITANTS. 41 

a procedure still observed in certain parts of England on Holy Thursday, or 
Ascension Day, and consists in perambulating the parish boundaries, the boys of 
the parish school striking the boundary marks with peeled willow wands. The 
singular expedient of whipping the boys themselves on the spot, in order to more 
firmly fix the lay of the boundaries in their memories, appears, however, to have 
been relinquished. " Merry Christmas " plays an important part in the life of 
Englishmen, and for that festive occasion every good housewife attends to the pre- 
paration of the traditional fare. On that happy day all Englishmen, from one end 
of the world to the other, from London to the antipodes, and from the icy North to 
the burning deserts of Africa, feel in communion with each other. The explorer, 
if obliged, from the want of porters, to part with some of his most precious 
stores, nevertheless holds fast to his plum pudding, and, when eating it, exchanges 
good wishes with his friends at home.* 

In no other country of the world are juridical precedents looked up to with 
greater respect than in England, and the antiquated legal procedure, that "monster 
plague of the country," to use an expression of Lord Brougham, is only too often 
in conflict with our ideas of justice. The judges and barristers still wear wigs, and 
enjoy an amount of consideration which is not extended to their colleagues on the 
continent. The judges attending the assizes are looked upon as the direct repre- 
sentatives of the sovereign, and take precedence before all other Englishmen, 
including even princes of the blood royal. f 

The Englishman, patient and strong, never in a hurry, but at all times ready 
to act, is not ordinarily possessed of those high ambitions which sway his neigh- 
bour on the other side of the Channel. His horizon is more limited, and he 
conceives no vast general plans, being content with efiecting changes by degrees 
and in detail. He only attends to one thing at a time, but does it thoroughly. 
His eye is deep-set, and he looks straight before him. He is even said to wear 
"blinkers," in order that objects lying outside his path may not distract his atten- 
tion. + Those vast synthetic views and generalisations, which elsewhere divide 
nations into parties strongly opposed to each other, can hardly be said to exist 
amongst Englishmen, taking them as a whole. They concern themselves, above all 
things, with facts, and successively analyze every question as it turns up. The 
principle of a division of labour is strictly carried out, and those who study have 
not so much in view the advancement of learning as the practical requirements 
of their future avocation. This want of a wide comprehension often renders 
Englishmen intolerant, for they cannot understand how other people can think 
differently from themselves. It is only rarely that parliamentary speakers 
enunciate a principle ; they are content to discuss in commonplace language the 
advantages and disadvantages of the thing proposed, adducing facts in support of 
their views. They leave " ideas " to others, and prefer large battalions and strong 
redoubts to the most ingenious plans of battle or the inspiration of the moment. § 

* Cameron, " Across Africa." 

t N. Hawthorne, " English Note-Books." 

J Emerson, " English Traits." 

§ Henri Heine, " De I'Angleterre." Emerson, " English Traits." 

100— E 



^2 . THE BKITISH ISLES. 

^if in 'msociate themselves with those of 

- -- i~r rir:ra:t n. ana .e n.... ». .c.. 



their countrymen who hold v.ew. s.muar » — ;""' " ^^ p^^„„^ ^^,^, 

estahHshed for every conceivable ob^cj ^-^^jj^^^^^^ ^^.^ ,„ 

tions of this kind are less "^7 ^J/^^^^Jl^^^^^ .. unions," and other 

vast and indefinite projects, whilst the ""™J^J;; / ^.^^ p^^tieal parties 
societies of England have always some definite object in view f 

rr i^^^^^^ b'odies do not forxn distinct and hostile camps as on the contm^^^^^^^ 
The tran^tions between one pole of society and the other are ^^^-f ^^f;^^^^^^^ 
hundreds of associations, whatever their object, recruit the. members from the 
whole nation, wherever a sympathetic voice responds to them. It thus happens 
that an Englishman may find himself associated, for a particular object, w.^ men 
belonging to the most diverse political parties. No one thxnks of blammg h.m, or 
expects him to sacrifice his independent opmions. , wt, • 

It is now four centuries since Froissart said that Enghshmen took their 
pleasures sadly, although, at the time this author wrote, " Merry "was the epithet 
which the natives of the country prefixed to the name of England. The crowds 
which throng the streets of the towns of Great Britain in our own days certainly 
are anything but gay. On the contrary, these preoccupied, silent men, clad in 
sombre garments, are almost lugubrious in appearance. The climate, with its fogs, 
its rains, and its leaden skies, may account, to some extent, for the gloomy faces we 
meet with ; but there are other causes at work calculated to stamp a character of 
melancholy upon the countenances of vast numbers. In none of the Latin countries 
of Europe is social inequality so great as in England. It has created a gulf 
separating the rich from the poor, the landed proprietor from the tillers of the soil, 
the master from the servant— nay, even, until recently, the undergraduate of noble 
birth from his fellow-commoner. Veneration of the aristocracy has passed into the 
blood of the people, and in some provincial towns crowds immediately collect 
whenever a nobleman's carriage stops in the streets.* The moral malady, which 
Bulwer designates as " aristocratic contagion," has corrupted the whole nation, 
from the court to the village. Every one aspires to become " respectable ; " that 
is, to appear wealthier than he is. Society is thus divided into innumerable classes, 
all busily employed removing the barriers which separate them from their superiors, 
but equally intent upon maintaining those which shut out the class next beneath 
it. Not a provincial town but the haberdasher's wife declines, to associate with 
the wife of the grocer, as being beneath her.f Nor has the Puritanical reaction 
ceased yet, which consisted, not in a maceration of the body, but in stifling free 
inquiry, and curtailing the delight yielded by a cultivation of art. The actual 
inferiority of the British stage may probably be due to this Puritanical influence, 
for power of observation or fancy is not lacking for comedy, whilst the drama 
boasts of the models furnished by Shakspere and his successors. But perhaps 
we ought also to take into account that England has enjoyed internal peace for 
more than two centuries ; it lives no longer, like France, in the midst of a great 

* N. Hawthorne, " English Note- Books." 

t Edward Lytton Bulwer, " England and the English." 



INHABITANTS. 43 

drama, the scenes of which succeed each other from generation to generation* 
In painting, more especially, England, until recently, was inferior to her neigh- 
bours. At the time of the revolution in the seventeenth century Parliament 
ordered the destruction or sale of the most precious Italian masterpieces, and even 
now it will not allow the paintings belonging to the nation to be looked at on 
Sunday. Sunday is, indeed, a great institution of the country, more especially in 
Scotland, where all animation then appears to be suspended. In 1844, when the 
King of Saxony desired to embark on a Sunday, after he had been feted for a 
whole week, he was obliged to proceed very cautiously, in order not to expose 
himself to the insults of an Edinburgh mob,t and quite recently the Queen 
herself was taken to task for venturing to cross a ferry on the Sabbath-day. 

By a curious contrast, which may also be observed in Holland, the Anglo- 
Saxon, whenever the moment has come for putting aside, like a borrowed garment, 
the seriousness of every-day life, suddenly passes from a state of apathy, or even 
apparent despondency, into one of boisterous hilarity. The enthusiasm exhibited 
at horse and boat races, and on other occasions, is quite unintelligible to a French- 
man or Italian, who looks upon it as akin to folly. On holidays everybody spends 
money without counting the cost, and often it is the wife who is most lavish, and 
least thoughtful of the future. 

A love of nature somewhat counteracts the influences of the monotonous life 
passed in counting-houses and factories. Though no adepts in the arrangement 
of lines or blending of colours. Englishmen love open fields, fine trees, and woods ; 
they are fond, too, of the sea, and enjoy being in the midst of the agitated waves. 
This love of nature in its grand and unadulterated aspects is reflected throughout 
the country in the appearance of the land, which, though carefully cultivated, 
has not been disfigured by the process. :{: Quickset hedges separate meadows and 
fields, while masses of trees afford shade near the dwelling-houses, whose red bricks 
are often half hidden by climbing vines or ivy. Humble cottages on the roadside 
charm by their air of peaceful beauty. The mansions of the wealthy stand 
in the midst of wide parks, where oaks, beeches, and ash-trees mingle with the 
conifers of Europe, the Himalayas, and Oregon ; and these mansions, moreover, 
are often replete with treasures of art, unfortunately open only to the inspection 
of privileged visitors. Even under the smoke-laden atmosphere of the manu- 
facturing districts the country in many places retains its verdure; its copses of 
wood, its peaceful and smiling aspect, for the manufacturers, as a rule, take much 
delight in agriculture and gardening. The foliage of their copses hides the 
chimney of the neighbouring factory, and the rivulet, which only a short distance 
lower down turns the wheel of a mill, winds peaceably between grass-clad slopes. 
But a turn of the road, and the scene changes abruptly ; we find ourselves 
suddenly transported into a region of clatter and activity. 

The love of nature, joined to that of danger, has rendered Englishmen 

* Alfred Dumesnil, " Notes Manuscrites." 

t Carus, " England und Schottland im Jahre 1844." 

X N. Hawthorne, " English Note-Books." 



44 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

famous as climbers and explorers of mountains. Nearly a century and a half 
has passed by since Mont Blanc was "discovered," as it were, by Pococke and 
Windham. Englishmen were not the first to climb this giant amongst European 
mountains, but next to Saussure they have most frequently scaled the summits 
of the peaks of Savoy and Switzerland, far surpassing in intrepidity the natives of 
these countries. It is they who have most assiduously studied the phenomena of 
the Mer de Glace, and of its surrounding snow-fields, and who were the first to 
unravel the topography of the little-known mountain groups of the Pelvoux. 
Grand Paradis, and Viso. It was they, too, who first founded an Alpine Club, 
which has become the parent of similar societies in other parts of Europe, and 
even of India, at the foot of the Himalayas. 

A loving intimacy with nature has undoubtedly helped Englishmen in 
appreciating and breeding to perfection the various kinds of domestic animals. 
They do not confine themselves merely to improve the breeds, in order that they 
may yield more meat or better wool, and thus enhance the pecuniary profits to 
be derived from them, for they seek also to satisfy their aesthetic feelings by 
rendering them more shapely. Passionately fond of horses and dogs, they have 
succeeded, by judicious crossings, unflagging attention, and a course of training 
persevered in for generations, in producing new varieties, and transmitting the 
qualities in which they excel. An English breeder has almost the power of 
endowing the animal he breeds with strength, agility, or beauty. Even before 
it is born he ventures to predict its shape, its gait, the form of its head, and the 
colour of its skin. English horticulturists, too, have created thousands of new 
varieties of plants, and they reproduce in their hothouses the climate best suited 
to each species. 

But if England- is the country where the breeding of our various domestic 
animals is carried on with the greatest success, it is no less the country where 
the physical education of youth is conducted most intelligently, and with the 
greatest respect for the nature of the child, so that it may gain in strength 
and beauty. There are few English babies not charming to look upon. Poverty 
unfortunately disfigures the features of many early in life, but amongst those 
privileged by fortune how many are there not who amply fulfil the promises 
they held out in early childhood ! Observations made at Harrow and Eton, as 
well as at the'Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, during a period of fifty years, 
prove conclusively that the young men of modern England are superior to their 
forefathers in strength and agility. Thanks to a greater attention to the laws of ^ 
hygiene, the growing generation is physically superior to the generations which jl 
preceded it. A cricket match is at all times a pleasant sight. These tail, lithe ^M 
youths, with muscular arms, dressed in light attire, and surrounded by thousands 
of spectators keenly interested in their eftbrts ,do they not remind us of the heroes 
of the Olympian games? Difierent surroundings, and perhaps a little more 
personal grace, alone are wanting to weave around them a charm of poetry such 
as enveloped the athletes of ancient Hellas. But where is the azure sky, where are 
the marble halls and divinely shaped statues which surrounded the ancient 



INHABITANTS. 45 

arenas, not to speak of the prestige conferred by a past of two thousand years ? 
Still these young athletes of England do not yield to those of ancient Greece in 
the courage, endurance, and earnestness with which they engage in their sports. 
Their education, which unfortunately does not always tend to a proper balance 
between mental and physical culture, undoubtedly braces the muscles, renders the 
glance more calm, and develops energy. Thanks to this course of discipline, men 
thus trained learn to depend upon themselves on^ every occasion. They brave 
disease, fatigue, and danger ; dread neither high winds, cold, nor heat ; and though 
left alone on the ocean or in the desert, are inflexible in the attainment of their 
purpose, regretting neither parents, friends, nor the easy life of large towns, as 
long as their work is unaccomplished. Conscious of their strength, they despise 
cunning, that resource of the feeble ; they boldly speak the truth, even to their 
own detriment. 

England, of all civilised countries, is the one where the number of truly 
conscientious men, who guide their conduct by rules which they consider to be 
j ust and honourable, is the largest. But in a country where personal dignity and 
a love of truth are held in such high respect, it is only natural that hypocrites 
should be numerous. The number of those who assume a virtue, though they 
have it not, is undoubtedly large, but by this very act they do homage to the self- 
respect which is the true characteristic of an Englishman, and this self-respect has 
been more conducive to the upbuilding of British power than all the advantages 
derived from a flourishing industry and extensive commerce. 





CHAPTER IT. 

WALES AND MONMOUTHSHIRE. 

General Features. 

ALES, with the county of Monmouthshire, forms a well-marked 
geographical division of Great Britain, distinguished at once by its 
mountainous character, its ancient rocks, and the origin of a vast 
majority of its inhabitants. Its shores are washed on the north 
by the Irish Sea as far as the mouth of the Dee, on the west by 
St. George's Channel, and on the south by the Bristol Channel, whilst on the east 
the country slopes down to the vale of the Severn, the hills lying to the west of 
that river approximately forming its boundary on that side. Wales, compared 
with the remainder of Great Britain, is but of small extent,* for it merely consists 
of a two-horned peninsula jutting out westward ; but within its borders rise the 
loftiest mountains met with to the south of the Scotch Grampians. This mountain 
land, distinguished rather for its varied aspects, its wild yet picturesque valleys, 
its rich verdure, its lakes and sparkling rivulets, than for the boldness of its 
summits, is the most ancient soil of Southern Britain. Long before England had 
emerged above the sea, the Laurentian, Silurian, and Cambrian rocks of "Wales 
rose as islands in the midst of the ocean. They are the vestiges of a Britain more 
ancient than that now known to us as England and Scotland. And those who 
people this ancient soil are distinguished from the other inhabitants by the 
antiquity of their origin; for they are the descendants of the . aborigines of the 
country, and can look upon Saxons, Jutes, Danes, and Normans as comparatively 
recent intruders. 

The mountains of Wales do not form a continuous range, or a regular succes- 
sion of ranges, but rather rise in distinct groups, separated by low passes, and 
spreading out sometimes into elevated table-lands intersected by deep and fertile 
valleys. The principal amongst these groups is that which occupies the whole 
of Carnarvon, and within which rises the monarch of the Welsh mountains, 
Snowdon,t thus named on account of the snow which remains on its summit foi 

* Area, 7,957 square miles ; population (1861) 1,286,413— (1871) 1,412,583. 

t By the Welsh it is called Eryri, which some translate " Eagle's Rock," others " Snowy Mountain." 



WALES. 



47 



five or six months of the year. Though only 3,590 feet in height, this mountuiu 
impresses the beholder by the boldness with which it rises above all surrounding 
heights, revealing the whole of its slopes, from their base to the peaked summit 
called Y W^'ddfa, or the ** Place of Presence." The prospect to be enjoyed from 
this mass of slate pierced by porphyritic rocks, rising close to the sea, is most 
magnificent, and extends over a vast horizon of lower hills, valleys, lakes, promon- 
tories, and inlets of the sea. On a clear day the eye commands not only a vast 

Pig. 20. — ViBW OF Snowbon. 




portion of Wales, but may range eastward to the distant plains of England, 
and westward across St. George's Channel to the blue hills of Ireland. In the 
north the Isle of Man and Scotland are also visible. Snowdon, during the 
glacial epoch, was a centre from which six glaciers descended the divergent 
valleys extending at its foot. The greatest of these occupied the valley of 
Llanberis, covering it to a depth of 1,200 feet. At that time the llym, or lakes of 
green-hued water, which occupy the hollows of this mountain group, were filled 



^g THE BEITISH ISLES. 

with ice, and the frozen rivers probably extended to the sea, conveying into it 
the blocks of rock and detritus resulting from the waste of the mountams The 
bards look upon Snowdon as a kind of Parnassus. It is their " Mount of Awen, 
or, of the Muses, and the falling in of its summit is to herald the day of judg- 

ment. . • ^^. 

Other summits rise to the north-east of the Pass of Llanberis, almost rivallmg 
Snowdon in height. Amongst them are Glyder Fawr (3,227 feet), Carnedd 
Dafydd (3,430 feet), Carnedd Llewellyn (3,482 feet), and Y Foel Fras (3,091 
feet). In no other part of Wales are mountains met with equalling these in 



Fig. 21.— Snowuon. 
Scale 1 : 425,000. 




Depth under 5 Fathoms 



5 to 10 Fathoms 



Over 10 Fathoms. 
10 Miles. 



elevation, and as many of them rise close by the sea, the aspect they present 
is bold in the extreme, and they remind us, if not of the Alps, at all 
events of their lower spurs. Cader Idris (2,958 feet), the "Seat of Idris," a 
fabulous warrior and astronomer, is a mountain of volcanic origin, hardly inferior 
to Snowdon in the grandeur of the prospect which it affords those who climb 
its craggy summits to look down , upon the chaotic masses of rock which extend 
thence to Cardigan Bay. In a deep hollow on its flank lies Llyn Y Can, one 
of the finest tarns in the principality. A branch stretches north-eastward to 
the Aran Mowddwy (2,970 feet) and Berwyn range (2,716 feet) : from the latter 
may be seen the valley of the Dee, and Lake Bala, in which that river rises. 



WALES. 



49 



Plynlimmon* (2,481 feet), a rather tame mountain range of Silurian slate 
containing rich veins of lead ore, forms the connecting link between the 
mountains of North and South Wales. It occupies the very centre of the princi- 
pality, and the Severn and the Wye have their origin in its valleys. The range 
which stretches thence south-westward as far as St. David's Head nowhere exceeds 
a height of 1,800 feet. Another range extends along the right bank of the Severn, 
terminating in Long Mountain (1,696 feet), on the border of Shropshire. The 
valley of the Wye is bounded on one side by Radnor Forest, and on the other 
by the Epynt Hills : both are desolate mountain tracts, covered with mosses and 
peat or thin herbage. The valley of the Usk separates the Epynt Hills from the 
Black Mountains, or Forest Fawr, the highest range of Southern Wales, within 
which the Brecknock Beacons attain a height of 2,163 feet. These mountains 
are covered with herbage, and they derive their epithet '* black " from the dark 



Fig. 22. — The Brecknock Beacons. 
Scale 1 : 600,000. 




10 Miles. 



appearance of the heath when out of blossom, and their generally desolate 
character. These hills of South Wales cannot compare in picturesqueness with 
those of the north, and the view afforded from many of their summits often 
includes nothing but bogs or monotonous grassy hills. Less disturbed in their 
geological structure, they are, on the other hand, richer in mineral wealth. 
North Wales, besides yielding slate, lead, and a little copper, embraces a coal 
basin of small extent, which is, however, likely to become exhausted before the close 
of the century; but the carboniferous region which covers so vast an area in the 
south is one of the most productive mineral districts of Great Britain. It was 
first described by Owen towards the close of the sixteenth century. In area it 
exceeds any one of the coal basins of England, and it reaches a depth of no less than 
10,000 feet.f Of its hundred seams, sixty-six, of a total average thickness of 

* Or rather, Pum Lumen, or " Peak of Five Points." 
t Edward Hull, " The Coalfields of Great Britain." 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 
50 

80 feet are being worked, and the quantity of coal which it is posBible to extract 
ou leei, are oemg ^ a ..tV. than 4 000 feet is estimated by Vivian 

without descending to a greater depth than 4,UUU lee : 

and Clark at more than 36.000,000,000 tons. In the west the seams jield 
anthra ite but in proportion as we proceed eastward the coal becomes more and 
:t it u'lous. the gases enclosed in it often giving rise ^ " ^Pf ^i 
the frequent recurrence of which is a calamity which -S^* g-^'^Jy be obvi- 
ated by judicious cautionary measures. So fiery is some of this Welsh coal, that 
after having been placed on shipboard it will ignite spontaneously. 

The resLches of men of science have conclusively proved that Wales within 
recent geological time, has undergone variations of level. Marine shells of living 
species were discovered as long ago as 1831 near the summit of Moel Tryfaen, 

Fig. 23.— Erosive Action on the Coast of South Wales. 
Scale 1 : 100.000. 




Granite or Volcanic 
Syenite. Rocks. 



Lower 
Silurian. 



Upper 
Hiluiian. 



Devonian 

Sandstone. 



Millstone Carboniferous Coal 
Grit. Limestone. Measures. 



10 Miles. 



to the south of the Menai Strait, at an elevation of 1,400 feet above the 
level of the sea. This discovery has been confirmed and followed tip by other 
geologists, including Edward Forbes, Prestwich, Ramsay, Darwin, and Lyell. 
Mr. Darbishire has found fifty-seven marine molluscs in the upheaved strata 
which during the post-pliocene epoch formed the beach, and all these shells belong 
to species which still live in the neighbouring sea or in the Arctic Ocean. The 
general character of this ancient fauna points to a climate as rigorous as that of 
Iceland or Spitzbergen. The British seas were colder at that time than now, 
and when the land once more emerged from the sea these shell banks became 
covered with the detritus brought down by glaciers.* 

* Lyell. " Elements of Geology.'* 



WALES. 



51 



These variations of level are perhaps still going on. They must have singu- 
larly increased the effects of erosion, as exercised upon the rocks and coasts of Wales. 
The carboniferous formation of South Wales originally occupied an oval-shaped 
basin of pretty regular contour, surrounded concentrically by beds of more ancient 
age, but it has been visibly encroached upon by the floods of the Atlantic. The 
peninsula of Gower, to the west of Swansea, is nothing but the remains of an 
ancient promontory, formed of carboniferous and Devonian rocks. St. Bride's 

Fig. 24. — Epfects of Erosion on the Coast of South Wales : the Huntsman's Leap. 




Bay, at the south-western angle of Wales, is the result of the continued erosive 
action of the sea. The two promontories which bound it on the north and south 
are composed in a large measure of hard rock, capable of resisting the onslaught of 
the sea, but the softer intervening rocks of the carboniferous formation have been 
washed away, and their place is occupied now by a bay of strikingly regular con- 
tours.* The erosive action of rain and running water has completely changed the 

The Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain." 



6S 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



surface features of the interior of the principality. A large portion of South Wales, 
anciently covered hv the sea. has. sinee its emorgonco, been sculptured by the sur- 
face watVr into the 'succession of ravines, glens, and valleys which now intersect 
the basins of the Usk. Wye, and other rivers, for the most part designated by 
the same nun,., slightly m.«liHed. as Taf, Tawey, Towey, Taivi, or Dafty. The 
hill-tops and isolated tublo-lands of Cardiganshire rise to an ideal line which 
.vscends tronllv as we proceed to the eastward, and it is thus clear that the inequdi- 

JfHg. 'io.-- The SuwiiXiiiuN Biuuok, Mknai Stuait. 




ties of the surface must be of coraparatively recent oricrin, whilsjk the hills are the 
remains of an ancient plateau which had a gentle slope to the westward 

A few rooky islands have been severed by the waves of the ocean from the coast 
of South Wales, but Anglesey is the only large island of the principality. It 
formed originally a portion of North Wales. Of its ancient connection with the 
neighbouring mainland there can be no doubt, for the geological formations on 
both sides of the Menai Strait correspond. The dividing strait passes through 
carboniferous rocks, bedded between Silurian strata and rocks of porphyry. Pro- 
fessor Ramsjiy is of opinion that the valley now occupied by the strait is of 
glacial origin, and was scooped out. not by the glaciers of Snowdon, which never 
reached so far, but by those of Cumberland.* If it is true that horsemen were 
formerly, able to cross the strait at low water, great changes must have taken 

• Qttmi^jf Jotrrmil of tAt G€oloiric«f Sociriy, May, 1866. 




«Bd tl»^ tumtnX 
^-T:%auit IWUaor Br 
uptm it;. TV« Wd^ Ws ^. 

^(■wk, Wtil loA 

ii^iiollASM^ "ittad States, V 

Hwe tiie moist r; tkft I>: 

looiHtr;» sufWHMifML tm all sides W « 






54 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



over the inhabitants of Britain which is born of mystery. Some historians are 
even of opinion that Anglesey was visited by the priests of Gaul, in order to be 
initiated into the secret rites of Druidism. Ancient ruins, known as Terr Drew 
and Terr Beirdd— that is, Druids' or Bards* dwellings— still exist ;* but in fact the 
whole of Wales is one huge temple, if not of Druid worship, at all events of the 
religion that preceded it ; and everywhere we meet with caerns, springs, and ruins, 
which commemorate some miracle or the mythical feats of the Cymric ancestors of 
the modern Welsh. In these records of ancient Wales Christian legends are 
mingled with heathen fables, which latter survive to this day, outwardly adapted 
to the changing spirit of the times. Cromlechs are as numerous as in Brittany, 
and equally respected, for in their presence the Welshman feels himself the 

Fig. 27.— The Bridges over Menai Strait. 
Scale 1 : 25,000. 



i 




Foreshore. 



Depth under 15 feet. Depth over 35 feet, 

_i^^^ Half a Mile. 



descendant of an ancient race. The name of some ancient hero is attached to 
nearly every one of these stones. The large cromlech in the peninsula of Gower, 
to the west of Swansea, is thus dedicated to King Arthur, the legendary 
King of Old Wales. An oval pit, Caerleon, near Newport, which excavations 
have clearly shown to be the site of a Roman amphitheatre, is popularly identified 
with Arthur's Round Table, at which the King sat with his knights when they 
came back from their chivalrous expeditions. Near Carmarthen, long the capital 
of the Welsh, a grotto is pointed out, in which the fay Vivian kept Merlin the 
magician a prisoner. In another part of Wales, at the base of Plynlimmon, near 
the village of Tre Taliesin, tradiiion points out the burial-place of Taliesin, the 
* Alph. Esquiros, " L'Angleterre et la vie anglaise." 



WALES. 55 

famous bard — a circular mound, ancieutly surrounded by two circles of stones. 
If any one sleep upon tbis grave be will arise eitber a poet or a madman. It was 
to tbis mound tbat tbe bards wended tbeir steps in searcb of inspiration wben 
desirous of composing tribannau, or "triads." Owing to tbeir symbolism, tbe 
meaning of tbese triads often escaped tbe profane, but some of tbem deserve to be 
remembered for all time. " Tbree tbings tbere are," one of tbem tells us, " wbich 
were contemporaneous from tbe beginning — Man, Liberty, Ligbt."* 

Tbe Welsb, notwitb standing tbe extension of Voads and railways, of manufac- 
turing industry and commerce, bave kept alive tbeir national traditions and tbeir 
language. Tbe principality of Wales bas ceased to exist as an independent countrv 
since tbe middle of tbe tbirteentb century ; nevertbeless tbe Welsb, wbo call 
tbemselves **Cymry" — tbat is, "tbey tbat bave a common fatberland"t — look 
upon tbemselves as a separate people, and bave often attempted to tbrow off tbe 
yoke of tbe Englisb kings. Like tbe Bretons of France, tbeir kinsmen by race and 
language, tbey seized tbe opportunities afforded by tbe civil wars in wbicb tbe 
nation, to wbicb tbey bad been attacbed by force, found itself involved. Tbus 
in tbe seventeentb century tbey were ardent Royalists, boping tbereby to establish 
indirectly tbeir claim to national independence. During tbe seven years tbe war 
lasted tbe Welsb remained faitbful to King Cbarles, wbose cause tbey bad 
embraced as if it were tbeir own, and Cromwell found bimself obliged to storm 
several of tbeir strongbolds. But tbis was tbe last struggle, and tbe public peace 
bas not since been disturbed, unless, perbaps, during tbe so-called Rebecca riots 
in 1843, wben bodies of men, disguised as women ("Rebecca and ber Daughters "), 
overran tbe country, and made war upon turnpike toll collectors. Since 1746 
tbe "principality" of Wales bas formed politically a portion of England. In 
matters of religion, bowever, tbere exist certain contrasts between tbe Welsb and 
English ; but these are the very reverse of what may be observed in France, where 
the Bretons are far more zealous adherents of the old faith than the French. The 
Welsh, being addicted to mysticism, as enthusiastic as they are choleric, passionately 
fond of controversy, and impatient of rules laid down by strangers, naturally rejected 
the episcopal rites adhered to by a majority in England. Most of them are 
Dissenters ; Calvinistic Methodists, Baptists, and Congregationalists being most 
numerously represented. + About the middle of the eighteenth century, when 
Whitefield, the famous preacher, passed through the valleys of Wales, religious 
fervour revived throughout the principality, and in the smallest hamlet might be 
heard hymns, prayers, and vehement religious discourses. The Welsh Dissent- 
ing bodies have even anticipated their English brethren in several religious 
movements. It was they who established the oldest Bible Society and the 
first Sunday schools. Tbey maintain a mission in Brittany for the purpose of 
converting their kinsmen separated from them by the ocean. Still, in spite of 
all this religious zeal, the Welsh are inferior to the English' as regards general 

* Pictet, '* Mystferes des Bardes, Cj^rinach Beirdd Ynys Prydain." 
t H. Gaidoz, Revue des Leux-Mondes, May 1st, 1876. 

X There are in the principality 1,145 churches of the Establishment, and about 3,000 chapels o£ 
Dissenters, and in the vast majority of these latter the services are conducted in Welsh. 



56 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



education. Their principality, together with the neighbouring county of 
Lancashire, exhibits the blackest tint on a map showing the state of illiteracy.* 

Welsh, though a guttural language, is nevertheless full of harmony. Its chief 
feature consists in the mutation of certain consonants at the beginning of words, 
and it bears a greater resemblance to the Breton of Armorica and ancient Cornish 
than to the Gaelic spoken in Scotland and Ireland.f The language is in a better 
state of preservation than Breton, and boasts of a literature incomparably richer. 
Theological works occupy a prominent place, and it is probably owing to the zeal 
of preachers bent upon the saving of souls that Welsh has not fallen into 
disuse.:}: The first Welsh book was printed in 1546. This was merely an 
almanac, but it was succeeded, in the following year, by the first English- Welsh 
dictionary. During the present century Welsh literature has been enriched with 
periodical publications, journals, and reviews, besides numerous popular songs and 
tales discovered in the libraries of the country. But many other precious documents, 
still hidden away in libraries, ought to be published, for it was from Wales that 
mediaeval Europe received the traditions and poems of Arthur's Eound Table. 
The study of ancient Welsh is now pursued by many savants, and not only brings 
to light literary fragments of high value, but also exercises an important influence 
upon the study of other Celtic languages, including even those which survive 
only in the names of places. As to the Welsh themselves, they have an abiding 
love for their ancient language, and cling to it with great tenacity. The 
eisteddfodau, or musical and literary meetings, which have taken the place of 
the ancient gorsedd, or court of justice, held by the Druids, are highly popular. 
Tradition names King Arthur — magician, priest, and king — as having instituted 
these meetings, and awarded prizes to the best players on the teii/n, or Welsh 
harp. Even now the victorious bards, musicians, and singers are frequently 
crowned in his name, and the president, standing upon a cromlech, still opens 
the proceedings by pronouncing the time-honoured and noble formula of " The 
Truth against the World." § So great is the love which the Welshman bears his 
mother tongue, that these eisteddfodau are held not in Wales only, where the 
language is spoken by over 900,000 persons, II but also at Birkenhead, in the 

* Lord Aberdare, at the Eisteddfod of Birkenhead, in 1878. 

t Latham, "Ethnology of the British Islands." 

i H. Gaidoz, Jievue des I)eux-Mondes, May 1st, 1876. 

§ Alfred Emy et Henri Martin, " Tour du monde," t. xv. 1867. 

II Geographical Distribution of the Welsh-speaking Population of Wales. 



Districts in which Welsh is spoken by 
a majority ..... 

Districts in which it is spoken by 25 
to 50 per cent 

Districts in which it is spoken by less 
than 25 per cent, of the in- 
habitants . . 

Total 



Area. 
Sq.M. 


Populatioii. 


Persons speaking 
No. Per Cent. 


Persons 
speaking 
Enplish, OT 
Welsh and 
English. 
Per Cent. 


6,050 


1,025,573 


887,870 


86-5 


81-7 


357 


113,030 


38,046 


33-7 


96-8 


1,501 


174,080 
1,312,583 


8,614 


4-9 

71-2 


1000 


7,908 


934,530 


85-5 



(E. G. Ravenstein, Journal Statistical Society, 1879.) 



WALES. 



57 



New World, and even in Australia. "Wherever Welsli emigrants settle down in 
numbers, the Cymraeg is spoken side by side with Sassenach, or Saxon. At 
Liverpool there are some twenty chapels in which the services are conducted in 
Welsh, and a journal is published in Cymraeg.* The Welsh in the United States 
cocasionally meet in order to sing and declaim in the language of the ancient 



Fig. 28.— Linguistic Map of Wales. 
By E. G. Ravenstein. 




Proportion of Celtic-speaking Inhabitants, 
25 to 50 p.c. 



50 to 90 p.c. 



Over 90 p.c. 



bards ; and the indomitable colonists who, notwithstanding the difficulties they 
encountered, founded a 'New Wales in Patagonia, retain the use of their 
mother tongue, and the Rio Chuput, on the banks of which they established their 
settlement, has been renamed by them Afon Llwyd, or " Grey River.'* Through- 
out the world Welsh is spoken by far above 1,000,000 human beings. 

Nevertheless the Celtic spoken by the Cymry of Wales would appear to be doomed 

* Throughout England there are about 110 chapels in which the services are conducted in Welsh. 
101— E 



58 ' THE BRITISH ISLES. 

to extinction, and a time must come when it will survive only among philologists. 
Many use it from patriotic motives, others employ it to gratify their craving after 
literarv honours. All men of education learn to think in English, and even at 
the eisteddfodau the language of the conquering Saxon struggles for pre-eminence 
with that of the vanquished Celt. It even happens occasionally that the president 
of these meetings is ignorant of the language in which most of the poetry is being 
recited. Although Welsh is still general throughout the greater portion of Wales, 
even in the towns, and in the western part of Monmouthshire, English nevertheless 
is rapidly gaining ground. It is virtually the language of civilisation, and the 
only means of communicating with the outside world. Its use is general in all the 
schools — the Sunday schools attached to chapels excepted — and it is rare nowa- 
days to meet with young people unable to converse in English. A knowledge of the 
old mother tongue is thus daily becoming of less service, and, together with the 
old-fashioned heavy cloaks and the men's hats worn by women, is being put aside. 
The number of persons of Welsh origin scattered throughout the world, who have 
completely forgotten the language of their ancestors, is probably greater than that 
of the Welsh who remain at home, and still speak it. At all events we might 
conclude that such is the case from the large number of Welsh family names met 
with in all English-speaking countries, nearly all of them being modifications of 
Christian names, such as Jones — the most frequent of all — Roberts, Edwards, 
Humphreys, and P'ugh, P'owel, P'robert, Ap'jones (son of Ugh, Owel, Robert, or 
Jones). In the United States alone there are supposed to reside 3,000,000 
persons of Welsh descent, of whom hardly a third have remained faithful to the 
language of their ancestors.* Most of these Welsh have become as good Americans 
as the pilgrim fathers of New Plyraquth, and the Welshmen of Great Britain can 
hardly be serious when they claim Thomas Jefferson as one of their compatriots. 
But the native genius of the race survives in a thousand new forms, and in this 
sense the Cymry can still repeat their ancient motto, " Tra mor, tra Briton." 

Topography. 

The ancient feudal cities of Wales present a striking contrast to the modern 
towns which have sprung into existence at the call of industry. The former, irregular 
and picturesque, with the ruins of one of the twenty-six strongholds of the country 
perched on a commanding rock, are possessed of individual features, and have long 
ere this been wedded as it were to the charming country which surrounds them. 
The latter, on the other hand, are generally mere agglomerations of buildings 
prematurely blackened. Their only monuments are factory chimneys, and they 
encroach on the surrounding fields, without that softening of their lines which 
would bring them into harmony with surrounding nature. 

Flintshitie (Ffi.int), the north-easternmost county of Wales, stretches inland 
from the estuary of the river Dee. Its surface along that river, and more especially 
in the tract known as Sealand, is level, but the interior is beautifully diversified 

* Thomas, "Hanes Cymry America." 



FLINTSHIRE. 



59 



by hills, which in the Moel Fammau (" Mother of Hills ") attain an elevation of 1,823 
feet. Coal and lead abound, and there are also iron works, but the manufacturing 
industry is of little importance. 

Haimrden, near which there . are some potteries, overlooks the alluvial plain 
at the mouth of the Dee. Mold lies some 4 miles inland, on the Alyn, a 
tributary of the Dee: the hills enclosing it are rich in coal and oil shale, whilst 
the river turns the wheels 'of several paper-mills. 

Flint, the county town, with large chemical works and collieries, lead mines and 
paper-mills, in its neighbourhood, was formerly accessible to large vessels, but its 
silted-up port now admits only small coasting vessels. Four miles to the west of it 

Fig. 29. — The Sands of the Dee, from above Bagilt. 






lies the ancient town of Holywell (Trefynnon), 1 mile from the estuary of the Dee. 
It has lead mines, lime-kilns, and Roman cement works, and supplies the potteries 
of Staffordshire with chert, but is celebrated more especially for its copious and 
miraculous well, dedicated to St. Winifrid, and formerly a noted place of pilgrim- 
age and source of wealth to the adjoining Abbey of Basingwerk. A few miles 
inland lies Caerivys, the ''Fortress of Assize," which up to 1672 was the county 
town, and famous for its eisteddfods, but is now of little note. Mostyn, a small 
port below Holywell, exports coal from the collieries in its neighbourhood, 
whilst Rhyl, near the mouth of the Elwy, has become a favourite seaside resort. 
Proceeding up the Elwy, past Rhuddlan and its marshes, where Offa, King of 



QQ THE BRITISH ISLES. 

Mercia, in 795, annihilated the Welsh, fighting under the leadership of Caradoc, 
the lofty spires of the cathedral of St. Asaph indicate our approach to the charming 
Yale of Clwyd, the greater part of which lies in the neighbouring county of 

Denbighshire. i t:. t -. 

A detached portion of Flintshire lies to the south-east, between the English 
counties of Cheshire and Shropshire. This is known as the Maelor Saesneg, or 
'' Saxon Land," and Welsh has not been heard there since the days of Henry VIII. 
This smaU tract of country abounds in curious old villages, the most remarkable 
amongst themheing Bangor Isi/coed (-Under the Wood"), or Monachor urn, famous 
for its monastery, supposed to have been founded about the year 180 by the first 
Christian King of Britain ; but of this not a vestige remains at the present day. 

Fii2-. 30.~ Rkmains of Vallb Orucis Akbey. 




Denbighshire (Dinbych) is a somewhat straggling county, extending from 
the broad Vale of the Dee to the Irish Sea, between the rivers Elwy and Conway. 
The greater portion of its surface is hilly, and fit only for pasture, but it is inter- 
sected bv several fruitful valleys, the most extensive being that of the Clwyd. 

Wrexham and Ruabon, the two most populous towns of the county, lie in the east, 
close to Watt's Dyke, which separates the Vale of the Dee from the hilly part of 
the county, and which was thrown up by the Saxons as a defence against the Welsh. 
Both these towns depend upon coal and iron for their livelihood, and the former 
likewise produces some flannel. The dyke referred to, as well as that of Offa, to 
the south of the Dee, approximately marks the linguistic boundary ; and whilst 
Wrexham, to the east of it, is virtually an English town, Ruabon, on its farther 
side, is almost wholly Welsh, and is becoming more so every day, owing to the 



DENBIGHSHIEE— CAENAEVONSHIRE. 61 

immigration of Welsh labourers. Above Euabon the Dee flows through the 
romantic Vale of Llangollen, where limestone quarrying and burning, slate quarry- 
ing, and the weaving of flannel are carried on extensively. Near the small 
town of Llangollen stand the remains of Valle Cruets Abbey, the most picturesque 
ruin of the kind in North Wales. 

The Vale of Ckvyd, which opens out upon the Irish Sea between Ehyl and 
Abergele, is inferior to that of Llangollen in picturesque features, but far surpasses 
it in fruitfulness. Denbigh, the capital of the county, rises in its midst on a steep 
limestone hill crowned b}^ a ruined castle. It was formerly noted for its glovers, 
tanners, and shoemakers, but not lying on a natural high-road of commerce, it has 
not become very populous, though of some importance as the centre of a fine 
agricultural district. It is nevertheless one of the most pleasant towns to visit. 
The prospect from its castle over the wide valley is magnificent, and the town 
abounds in quaint timbered buildings, with overhanging stories and gabled roofs. 
Higher up the valley stands Ruthin, a picturesque town, known for its artificial 
mineral waters. 

Llanrivst is the only place of note on the river Conway, which forms the 
western boundary of Denbighshire, and is navigable to within a short distance of 
the village. Gwydyr Castle and the chalybeate springs of Trefrew lie within 
Carnarvonshire. 

CarnarvoivSHIre (Arfon) is one of the most mountainous counties of Wales, 
for within its borders rise the ranges of Snowdon, the fastnesses of which afforded 
a last refuge to the Welsh when struggling for their independence. The south- 
western portion of the county, terminating in the bold promontory of Braich-y- 
PwU, off" which lies Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli), is less elevated. Sheep-farming 
and slate quarrying constitute the principal occupations of the inhabitants. 

The district of Creuddyn, with the bold promontory of Orme's Head, though 
lying to the east of the Conway, forms a part of Carnarvonshire, Llandudno, 
one of the most attractive seaside resorts in Great Britain, is situate within that 
detacned portion of the county. The copper mines of Great Orme's Head have 
been worked from time immemorial, and were formerly exceedingly productive. 

Conway, an ancient city enclosed within a lofty wall, formerly defended the 
difficult road along the coast, and the estuary of the river upon the left bank of 
which it has been built. The construction of the railway embankments and of 
the bridges over the river proved very costly. The tubular railway bridge is built 
in the massive architectural style of the castle which commands it. Bangor, 
at the northern entrance of Menai Strait, is for the most part of modern 
origin. Near it the railway bifurcates, one branch conducting the traveller 
across the strait to Holyhead, and the other carrying him to Carnarvon. Bangor 
is a favourite resort of tourists, affording unusual facilities for exploring 
delightful valleys, climbing lofty mountains, and visiting interesting castles 
perched upon capes or the spurs of the hills. The town is largely indebted to 
the neighbouring slate quarries for its prosperity. Port Ptnrhyn, whence the 
slate of the famous Penrhyn quarries is exported, lies close to it. Proceeding up 



(52 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

the beautiful valley of Nant Francon, and passing through Bethesda, a town of 
quarrymen, we reach the Penrhyn quarries after a five-mile walk. They form 
one of the busiest hives of human industry. Tier rises above tier around a huge 
amphitheatre ; locomotives, dragging long trains of trucks laden with slate, pass 
incessantly ; and at short intervals flashes of light and puff's of smoke, followed by 
loud reports, announce the firing of blasting charges. About 3,000 workmen 
are permanently employed in these quarries, and if we would obtain an idea of 
the quantity of slate already removed, we need merely glance at the rugged 
pyramids which rise like lowers in the centre of the amphitheatre. The slate from 
these quarries finds its way to all parts of the world. Several towns in Norway 
have their houses covered with it,* and it is also exported to America. The annual 
produce of the quarries is estimated at 70,000 tons, worth £160,000« 

Carmrvon (Caer-yn-ar-fon), capital of the county, and formerly of the whole of 
North Wales, retains the lofty walls of its feudal castle, and near it may be seen 
the ruins of the Roman station of Seguntium. Like Bangor, it depends upon fishing, 
quarrying, and its coasting trade for its prosperity, and is also a great favourite 
with tourists, who crowd its streets and environs during the summer Near it are 
the slate quarries of Binorwic, and others on the slopes of the Pass of Llanberis, to 
the north of Snowdon. These quarries are hardly inferior to those of Penrhyn. 
Their debris is unfortunately gradually filling up Llyn Peris, and disfiguring one of 
the most charming prospects in the country. Other quarries lie in the south, near 
Kantk. 

Nevin, Pwllheli, and Criccieth are old towns with small ports in the south- 
western part of the county, but they are exceeded in importance by Tremadoc and 
Portmadoc, both founded in the beginning of the century, partly upon soil won 
from the estuary of Glas Llyn. Portmadoc is the shipping port of Ffestiniog, in 
Merionethshire, with which a miniature railway connects it. 

Anglesey (Mona), owing to its position in advance of the mainland and 
opposite to the Bay of Dublin, has at all times been a place of traffic, contrasting 
in this respect with the mountainous parts of Wales, whose inhabitants lived in 
seclusion, and came but little into contact with strangers. Gently undulating, 
fertile throughout, and possessed of productive veins of copper, Anglesey held out 
inducements to colonists. The Druids, whom Tiberius caused to be expelled from 
Gaul, sought a refuge here. The old bards speak of Anglesey as the "shady 
island ; " but the forests which justified this epithet have long disappeared, and the 
surface of the country is now almost treeless. The gardens of Anglesey are noted 
on account of the variety of their produce. The climate is mild and equable, and even 
bamboos grow in the open air. Anglesey, owing to its great fertility, was known 
in former times as " Mona, mam Cymri ; " that is, " The Mother of Cambria.'' 

Beaumaris, the capital, at the northern entrance of the Menai Strait, boasts of 
an old castle, is a favourite seaside resort, and carries on a considerable trade with 
England, several thousand coasting vessels annually frequenting its port. Amlwch, 
on the north coast, derives its importance from the copper mines in Parys 

* Carl Vogt, " Nordfahrt." 



iH!iiiiii!r.iiiiiiriiiiiiii!i!ii!iiii:i'ii;iiiiiiii;n:nii:iiii.i,hii!iiiiiiii;i'iiF!!iiiiiii; :;'!!' "'TT'^ 




liiiii 




fmmi 



I 



ANGLESEY. 



63 



Mountain, a couple of miles to the south of the town. They were discovered in 
1768. Holyhead (Caer Gybi), on a smaller island lying ofE the west coast of 
Anglesey, to which it is joined by a railway embankment and an old bridge, has 
attained considerable importance as the nearest port to Ireland. Holyhead may 
almost be called an outport of London, and engineering works on a large scale 
have been completed to adapt it to the requirements of the increasing trade 
between England and Ireland, and as a harbour of refuge for vessels trading to 
Liverpool. Two breakwaters, with a total length of 9,860 feet, planned by 
J. M. Rendel, and completed by Sir J. Hawksley in 1873, protect a harbour with 
an area of 267 acres. They are built upon rubble mounds, 250 feet wide at the 



Fig. 31. — HoL-YHEAD Uarbouk. 
Scale 1 : 50,000. 




W.ofGr. 4*40' 



4'36' 



Depth under 5 Fathoms. 



5 to 10 Fathoms. 
___ Haifa MUe. 



Over 10 i athoms. 



surface of the water, and their solid walls, rising to a height of 38 feet, form a 
noble promenade. The stones for these works were furnished by the neighbouring 
hills. Mariners may well have bestowed the epithet of " Holy " upon so con- 
spicuous a promontory, even though a monastery had not been established at its 
foot until the seventh century after Christ. A fine lighthouse rises at the head (jf 
the breakwater, which, with the light on the Skerries, 6 miles to the north of it, 
points out the road to Liverpool. 

Llangefni and Llanerchymedd are the principal towns in the interior of the 
island, the former having collieries, whilst the latter is famous for its cattle fairs 
and snuff. A remarkable cromlech, known as " Arthur's Quoit," stands near it. 



64 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Meeionethshire (Metetonydd) is perhaps the most mountainous county of 
all Wales, although Cader Idris and its other summits are inferior in height to 
Snowdon. The north-eastern portion of the county is drained by the river Dee, 
which flows through Bala Lake. The western portion slopes down towards 
Cardigan Bay, and the rivers traversing it form broad and shallow estuaries 
before they ^nter the sea. 

Bala, at the foot of Bala Lake, or Llyn Tegid, is much resorted to for fishing 
and shooting. It is the seat of colleges of the Calvinistic Methodists and 
Independents. Bala Lake has been selected by the Liverpool Corporation to 
furnish it with a supply of wholesome drinking water. Concen, a quiet market 
town, is the only other place of any importance in the beautiful valley of the Dee. 
Festiniog, on the Upper Dwyryd, is a large parish, containing meadows, 
woods, and fine mountains, these latter yielding copper as well as slate. The 

Fig. 32.~Harbotik of Refuge, Holyhead 




quarries employ about 3,500 men, and their produce is exported through Port- 
madoc. Harlech, some distance to the south of the Dwyryd, was anciently the 
capital of the county, but is now an unimportant place, and only shows some 
anmiatiou in summer, when it is visited by tourists and sea-bathers. 

Barmouth, or Ahermaw, at the mouth of the Mawddach, has a small harbour. 
Proceedmg up the estuary of the Mawddach, and then following the valley of the 
Wnion, we reach Dolgelly, the present capital of the county, situated in a lovely 
mountam district commanded by the crags of Cader Idris. Here flannel weaving 
IS carried on, and gold and copper mines are worked at Clogan and St. David's, to 
the north of it. An old cottage is pointed out as the house in which Owen Glyndwir 
assembled his parliament in 1404. 

To,oyn, within half a mile of the coast, has a mineral spring, and is acquiring 
Bome importance as a sea-bathing town. Aberdovey, or Afon Dyfi, at the mouth 



MONTGOMERYSHIRE. 



65 



of the Dovey, has a small harbour, from which slate is shipped. Higher up on 
the same river, in the midst of the mountains, stands Dinas Mawddwy^ a poor 
village, surrounded by exquisite scenery. 

Montgomeryshire (Maldw yn) is for the greater part drained by the Severn 
and its tributaries, only a small portion of it lying within the basin of the 
Dovey, towards the west. Barren mountains occupy nearly the whole of its 
area, but the valleys open out towards the English border, and afford space for 
the pursuit of agriculture. The manufacture of flannel is carried on extensively, 
and there are lead mines and quarries. 

Montgomeryshire is one of those counties in which Welsh is visibly losing 
groimd. In the valley of the Severn, up to within a mile or two of Newtown, 

Fig. 33. — On tke Dee, near Bala. 




Welsh is heard only in the mouths of immigrants and of a few very old people. At 
Montgomery and Welshpool Welsh has been extinct among the natives for at least 
fifty years. It is only on the Upper Severn, beyond Llanidloes, on the Upper 
Vyrnwy, and in the western part of the county, that Welsh remains the language 
of the majority.* 

Montgomery, the county town, is a quiet place, with the scanty ruins of a 
castle, but prettily situated. WeMpool, at the head of the navigation of the 
Severn, is a busy market town. Its chief attraction is the magnificent park 
surrounding Powis Castle, the ancestral seat of the noble family of Herbert. 



♦ About 44 per cent, of the population speak Welsh, but hardly 10 per cent, are unable to converse 
in English 



gg THE BEITISH ISLES. 

Ne,dou,n, higher up on the Severn, is a modern manufacturing town, the prin- 
cipal seat of the Welsh flannel trade. LlanWoe,, on the same river, is a pros- 
perous town, the inhabitants of which are occupied in the manufacture of 
flannel and in the neighbouring lead mines. Lhn.fymn, on the Cam, a tributary 
of the Severn, ie famous for its ale, and a proverb says that "Old ale fills 
Llanfyllin with young widows." Llan/air Caer Einion is built on the borders of 
the Vyrnwy. The castle from which this Llanfair, or St. Mary's Church, derived 
its name, exists no longer. 

Machynlleth, the only town in the western part of the county, known as 
Cyffeiliog, is a cheerful place in the midst of charming scenery. It is supposed 

Fig. 34.— Thb Pakliamint Hovse, Dolgklly. 









J^m,^ 



WWy^: 



■^v 



to occupy the site of the Roman Maglona. The inhabitants manufacture coarse 
cloth (" web"), and work in the neighbouring slate quarries and lead mines. 

Cardiganshire stretches from the Dovey to the Teifi, presenting a bold face 
towards the sea, and rising inland to mountains, which culminate in Plynlimmon. 
Agriculture, sheep farming, and lead mining are the principal pursuits. 

Aherystwith^ at the mouth of the Rheidol and near that of the Ystwith, has 
grown into a sort of Welsh Brighton, with large hotels and a fine beach 
remarkable for the quantity of pebbles found on it. The buildings of the 
University College of Wales adjoin the ruins of a castle founded by Gilbert de 
Strongbow. Lead smelting is carried on in the neighbourhood. Farther south, 
on the coast, are Aberaeron, a favourite watering-place; Neiv Quay, with a small 
harbour and quarries ; and Aherporth, a primitive fishing and bathing place. 
Cardigan, near the mouth of the Teifi, whence it exports the produce of its 



PEMBROKESHIRE. 



67 



fisheries, has but a small harbour, which larger vessels can enter only with the 
tide. Travelling up the lovely valley of the Teifi, we reach Lamjyettr, a bright 
market town in a fine situation, and the seat of a college of the Church of 
England. North of it lies Tregaron, to the north-west of which are the ruins of 
Strata Florida, an abbey founded in 1184. 

Pembrokeshire is called in Welsh Penfro — that is, ** Head of the Peninsula '* 
— a very appropriate name for a county forming the south-western extremity of 
Wales. The surface of Pembrokeshire is for the most part undulating, and rises 
in the Mynydd Preseley to a height of 1,758 feet. The coast is generally bold, 



Fig. 35. — MiLFORD Haven. 
Scale 1 : 330,000. 







=—6.4 


rfjHaverfopdwest 






m^-' ■-.■^« 


5i 

40 




^ 




mmm 


51- 

40- 


==^~^^^^^^^^^^^^?^ 


iS^^^\IS!ujia 


==£^^^^!^*9^p^^ 






^S 


^l^^^^^g^iit :^^^ys^^ 








i 


^" ^Hi.'^^<'^:::2^^wmmwm 








^^^m 


^"^^^'"^^ 








^B 








5 20- 




5" W.oFGr 





Depth under 10 I'athoms. 10 to 20 Fathoms 



20 to 33 Fathoms. 
5 Miles. 



Over 33 Fathoms. 



and Milford Haven, a veritable fiord with many ramifications, penetrates far 
inland. It is easily accessible, and capable of afibrding shelter to the combined 
merchant fleet of England, but owing to its remote situation no great mercantile 
harbour has arisen on its shores. 

Pembrokeshire is Welsh in its northern, English in its southern half, and the 
line separating the two races is well marked, extending from the northern part of 
St. Bride's Bay to Narberth, which lies to the east of it. When Arnulf de 
Montgomery conquered the country, in the reign of Henry I., he no doubt brought 
English settlers with him. These were on two subsequent occasions reinforced by 



68 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

Flemings, who established themselves in Roose, with Haverfordwest for their capital, 
and in the peninsula of Castle Martin, to the west of Tenby. In these early days 
Southern Pembrokeshire was known as - Little England," and although the King's 
writ did not then run in Wales, it was duly acknowledged in this - Anglia-trans- 
Wallnia." The present English inhabitants may no doubt claim descent from 
these early settlers, but they have perpetually been receiving reinforcements, and 
the dialect they now speak is said to resemble that of Somersetshire. 

Haverfordwest is picturesquely seated on the slope of a hill overlooking the 
Cleddau, which flows into Milford Haven, and is navigable for vessels of a burden of 
100 tons. It is the capital of the county. The keep of its old castle has been con- 
verted into a prison. Pembroke, on the south side of Milford Haven, is interesting 
chiefly on account of its Norman castle, the birthplace of Henry YII. (1456), now 
in ruins. Pembroke Dockyard, a Government ship-building vard, defended by for- 

Fig. 36. — MiLFOiin Haven 



midable military works, lies 2 miles north-west of the old town. A steam ferry 
connects it with New Milford, where docks have been excavated in the vain hope 
of this place, so favourably situated, becoming a rival of Liverpool in the trade 
with America. At present only steamers plying to Cork and Waterford avail 
themselves of the facilities thus provided. The town of Milford lies 5 miles below 
these docks. 

St. Davids, the ancient Menapia, in the north-west corner of St. Bride's Bay, 
is merely a village, but boasts of a grand old cathedral, built in 1176. Fishguard 
and Newport are small towns on the north coast, whence slates are shipped. 
Tenby, at the other extremity of the county, is a delightful watering-place, its 
neighbourhood abounding in charming walks and drives. The ruins of a 
Norman castle crown the summit of a promontory. Saundersfoot, a couple of 
miles to the north, has collieries and iron works. 



CARMARTHENSHIRE— GLAMORGANSHIEE. 69 

Carmarthen (Caerfyrddin) is for the most part drained by the Towey and 
Taf, and that portion of the county which lies to the north, along the left bank 
of the Teifi, is of small extent. The coast is low, and in places marshy, whilst the 
interior is hilly, or even mountainous, the hills being intersected by productive 
valleys and wooded glens. Carmarthen Van (2,596 feet), a summit of the Black 
Mountains, is the highest point in the county. Coal and iron are found, and 
there are iron works, iron-mills, copper-mills, tin works, and other manufacturing 
establishments. ' 

Laugharne (pronounced Lame), on the west bank of the Taf, is a decayed town, 
with a small port and some trade in butter and corn. St. Clears, higher up on 
the same river, has partly usurped its trade. 

Carmarthen, the county town and reputed birthplace of Merlin, the Welsh 

Fig. 37 — The Worm's Head : Peninsula ok Gower. 




magician, is seated upon the Lower Towey, 9 miles above its mouth in Carmar- 
then Bay. It is a picturesque town, with irregular and steep streets. Sir Richard 
Steele, the essayist, lies buried in its ancient parish church. Tin and iron works 
are near it. Ahergwilli, with the palace of the Bishop of St. David's and Merlin's 
Hill, is in its neighbourhood. Higher up on the Towey are Llandilofaicr, a market 
town, with collieries and marble quarries, and Llandovery. 

Llanelly, on Burry Inlet, is the principal seaport of the county. It depends in 
a large measure upon the Cambrian Copper "Works, its tin works, and some 
collieries. Pemhrey, at the mouth of Burry Inlet, has copper smelting works and 
a small harbour. Kidwelly, to the north of it, lies on a silted -up harbour, and is 
mainly dependent upon its tin-plate works. 

Glamorganshire (Morganwg) is the most southerly county in Wales. Its 
northern part is hilly, but none of its hills attain a height of 2,000 feet, whilst the 



70 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



south, known as the Yale of Glamorgan, is generally level. It is the most 
fertile portion of Wales, and heavy crops of wheat are raised on a reddish clay 
soil. The coast is most irregular towards the west, where the peninsula of Gower, 
between Swansea Bay and Burry Inlet, juts out into the Bristol Channel. Off its 
south-western point lies a small island, terminating in the forbidding promontory 
known as the Worm's Head. The chief rivers are the Llwchwr (Loughor), sepa- 
rating the county from Carmarthenshire, the Tawe, the Neath, the Taf, and the 
Rumney, the last forming the eastern boundary. The great wealth of the county 
in coal and iron, combined with its running streams and excellent harbours, has 



Fig. 38.— Swansea. 
Scale 1 : 200,000. 




WoP Gr 



foreshore. 



iJepth under 5 Fathoms. 



5 to 10 Fathoms. 
2 Miles. 



Over 10 Fathoms. 



caused its manufacturing industry and commerce to flourish, and its population is 
more dense than that of any other county in Wales. 

English is almost universally understood, although Welsh continues to be the 
language of the majority. There is only one tract of any extent within which 
English is spoken to the entire exclusion of Welsh. This is the peninsula of 
Gower, in which Flemish colonists established themselves in 1103. It is famous for 
its cromlechs. Physically the inhabitants of this peninsula are said to differ from 
their neighbours, and a few words of Flemish survive amongst them, although they 
have discontinued the use of their mother tongue since the fifteenth century.* 

Swansea^ at the mouth of the Tawe, is an unattractive town, which owes its 

* Varenbergh, " Patria Belgica," iii. 



GLAMOEGANSHIEE. 



71 



'prosperity to the smelting and refining of copper. As early as the twelfth 
century, we are told by Borrow, Swansea was known for its castings, but it is only 
since the beginning of this century that it has grown into an important seat of 
industry. The miners of Cornwall were the first to send their ores to Swansea to 
be smelted, and so great are the advantages conferred upon the town by its wealth 



Fig. 39.— Cardiff. 
Scale 1 : 52.500. 




3-12- 



W. oF G r 



iMUe. 



in coal, that copper ores from all parts of the world now find their way to its 
smelting furnaces. The smoke ascending from the numerous chimneys of the 
town poisons the atmosphere and kills the vegetation on the surrounding hills. 
Swansea has excellent docks, and its foreign trade, more especially with France, is 
of great impor tance. The museum belonging to the Royal Institution of South 




72 THE BEITISii ISLES. 

Wales contains a valuable natural-history collection. Landore, a suburb of Swan- 
sea, is well known for its steel works. 

Oystermoiith, on the western side of Swansea Bay, bas grown into a favourite 
watering-place. The Neath enters Swansea Bay to the east of Swansea. Briton 
Ferry, at its mouth, has iron and tin-plate works, but is surpassed m importance 
by Neath, a few miles up the river, where copper smelting is carried on, and 
whence coal is exported in considerable quantities. Aherafon, at the mouth of the 
A.von, has copper works, and carries on a large trade. The small port of Porth- 
cawl depends for its prosperity upon the coal mines of Civmdu, in the interior of the 
county. Still proceeding up the Bristol Channel to its narrowest part, where the 
estuary of the Severn may be said to begin, we find ourselves opposite the port of 
Cardiff, one of the most important in Europe. Though commanded by an old 
castle, in which Robert, the eldest son of the Conqueror, lingered a captive for 
thirty years, and which has been restored as a residence of the Marquis of Bute, 
Cardiff is essentially a modern town, with broad, clean streets. The exports of 
coal and iron from the Taff valley are the great source of its prosperity, and since 
the opening of the famous Bute Docks its growth has been rapid. Roath, Canton, 
and Penarth are suburbs of Cardiff, and Llandqf, the seat of a bishopric founded in 
the fifth century, lies 2 miles to the north-west of it. Its cathedral has recently 
been restored. Cowhridge and Bridgend are the principal towns in the Yale of 
Glamorgan, which extends from Llandaff to Swansea Bay. 

The towns in the basin of the Taff depend upon their collieries and iron works 
for their prosperity, and like Cardiff, their principal shipping port, they suffered 
much during the depression of trade. Merthyr Tydvil, high up in this 
valley, and close to the borders of Brecknockshire, is the chief amongst them, 
though it consists of an agglomeration of factories and dwelling-houses rather 
than of a compactly built town. Its mines yield coal and excellent iron ore, 
and as lime, which plays so important a part in the manufacture of iron, is found 
close to the coal, the conditions are as favourable as possible for the development 
of the iron and steel industry. The whole of this district is dotted over with iron 
and steel works, railways intersect each other in all directions, and the lurid glare 
of smoking heaps of slag lights up the night. The iron works of Doiclais, a suburb 
of Merthyr Tydvil, give occasionally employment to 20,000 men, and rank with the 
largest works of the kind in existence. Cyfarthfa, another of these workmen's cities, 
formerly enjoyed the monopoly of casting all the guns required by the British 
Government. It was here that Trevethick constructed his first traction engine. 

Aherdare and Mountain Ash, on the Cynon, a tributary of the Taff ; Neicbridge 
(Pontypridd), at the mouth of the Rhondda valley ; and other towns along the canal 
which connects Merthyr Tydvil with Cardiff, are dependent upon their collieries 
and iron works for existence. They possess hardly a feature to mitigate their 
rough and grimy aspect, and it is a relief to turn from them to the fine ruins 
of the feudal stronghold of Caerphilly, 8 miles to the north of Cardiff, in the 
valley of the Rumney. 

Monmouthshire extends from the Rumney to the Lower Wye, its central 



MONMOUTHSHIEE-BRECKNOCKSHIRE. 



73 



Fig. 40. — Newport. 



portion being drained by the Usk. Along the coast there are extensive " levels " 

protected by embankments against the high tides of the Severn ; but the greater 

portion of the county is hilly. The Sugar-loaf Hill (Pen-y-val), to the north of 

Abergavenny, rises to a height of 1,954 feet. 

The geographical nomenclature is for the most part Welsh, but English is now the 

predominant tongue, Welsh being spoken only in the coal and iron regions to the 

west of the Usk, where its use is perpetuated by immigrants from adjoining counties. 
The towns to the west of the Usk, in the valleys of the Sirhowy, Ebwy, and 

Llwyd, engage in coal mining and the manufacture of iron and steel, the chief 

amongst them being Tredegar, Abersychan, 

Blaenavon, and Pontypool. Newport, at the 

mouth of the Usk, is their great shipping 

port. It has grown from a small village 

into a populous town, with iron works, nail 

factories, wire, and nut and bolt works. Its 

docks give access to the largest vessels, and 

Caerleon, the Isca Silurum of the Romans, 

and residence of King Arthur, which lies 

3 miles above, on the right bank of the 

Usk, probably at no time equalled it in im- 
portance. Higher up on the Usk are 

Raglan, with the ruins of a famous strong- 
hold, and Abergavenny, a manufacturing 
town, producing principally boots and shoes. 
Monmouth (Mynwy), the capital of the 
county, is seated at the confluence of the 
Monnow with the Wye, in the midst of 
wooded hills. Its associations are altogether 
English. In its castle, now a ruin, was 
born Henry Y., the victor of Agincourt. 
Geoffrey of Monmouth, whose Latin Chro- 
nicles Shakspere made use of, was a native 
of the town. The Wye, between Monmouth 
and Chepstow, is renowned for its scenery, 
presenting an alternation of meadow lands, 
steep cliffs, and woods descending to the water's edge. The ruins of Tintern Abbey 
lie about half-way between the two. Chepstow (Aberwye), near the mouth of the 
river, is a port of some importance. Its castle, on a formidable cliff overhanging 
the river, was captured by Cromwell, and is now a picturesque ruin. 

Brecknockshire (Brycheiniog) is an inland county, comprising the upper 
basin of the Usk as well as the western slope of the Upper Wye. The Black 
Mountains, which in the Brecknock Beacons attain a height of 2,910 feet, rise 
boldly to the south of the Usk, whilst the north is filled with the wooded range 
of the Mynydd Epynt and other lofty hiUs, The arable land is of limited 
102— E 




Scale 1 : 143,000. 
1 Mile. 



74 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

extent, but sheep farming and the rearing of cattle are of importance. Coal and 
iron abound in the south. Welsh is still the language of the majority, but is 
losing its hold upon the inhabitants. 

Brecknock^ or Brecon^ on the Usk, centrally situated, is the county town. In 
the neighbourhood of Llanelly, near the Usk, not far from the boundary of 
Monmouthshire, are the Clydach iron works. Bryntnawr, another town noted for 
its iron works and collieries, lies to the south-west, on the Upper Ebwy, whilst 
Ynyscedwin and Ystalyfera are situate in the extreme south-west, on the Upper 
Tawe, and virtually belong to the vast manufacturing district depending upon 
Swansea. 

Hay and Biiilth, the latter a curious old place, with narrow, tortuous streets, 
are the only remarkable towns on the Wye. 

Radnorshire (Maesyfed) is an inland county, covered almost wholly with 
desolate moorlands, and very sparsely peopled. The Wye, which washes the 
county on the west and south, is the outflow for its watershed, whilst the Lugg 
and x\rrow, rising in Radnor Forest (2,166 feet), flow to the eastward into Here- 
fordshire. The geographical nomenclature is Welsh, but Welsh is now only 
understood by a few old people at Rhayader and some other remote localities on 
the Upper Wye. 

Presteigne, the county town, is situate in the fertile valley of the Lugg ; Netv 
Radnor lies at the foot of Radnor Forest ; and Knighton occupies the heights over- 
looking the river Teme. Offa's Dyke passes through it. Llandrindod, in the 
valley of the Wye, near Builth, enjoys some reputation as a watering-place. 




CHAPTER TIL 




THE COJRNISH PENINSULA. 

(Cornwall and Devonshire.) 

HE peninsula formed almost wholly of the counties of Cornwall and 
Devonshire constitutes a distinct geographical province, which 
resembles "Wales rather than any other part of England. It is a 
country of rocks, hills, promontories, and heath-covered ridges. 
Like the Cambrian mountain region, its rocks belong to the most 
ancient formations, and a well-marked depression, extending southward from 
the valley of the Severn, separates it from the rest of England. Cornwall and 
Wales also resemble each other as respects the origin of their inhabitants, and 
a like geographical position has resulted in a certain analogy in the historical 
development of the two peoples. When we speak of the Welsh, our thoughts 
almost involuntarily turn to the neighbouring people of Cornwall. 

Cornwall, by its geological structure, is a sister-land of French Brittany, from 
which it is separated by the wide mouth of the English Channel. The land 
on both sides of that arm of the sea is composed of granite, schists, and palaeozoic 
rocks ; the shores are indented by deep gulfs and bays, affording facilities for the 
establishment of great naval stations ; and both peninsulas terminate in promon- 
tories known as Land's End, or Finistere. Climate, rivers, soil, and inhabitants all 
resemble each other on these two shores. Cornwall, however, enjoys the advantage 
of being far richer in mineral wealth than the French peninsula. There is no coal, 
as in Wales, but rich lodes of copper, zinc, and lead have attracted navigators 
from the most ancient times, and have proved the principal source of prosperity of 
the county.* 

A range of hills of Devonian formation rises to the south of the Bristol Channel, 
and constitutes, as it were, the root of the peninsula. These hiUs are separated by 
valleys, giving birth to the head-stream of the Exe, and terminate in the west, in 
the table-land of Exmoor, some of the summits of which exceed a height of 1,500 
feet. On the north this table-land is intersected by picturesque valleys, and termi- 
nates in bold cliffs. From its summits we may witness the continuous onslaught 
* Dufr^noy et Elie de Beaumont, " Voyage metallurgique en Angleterre." 



76 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



of the sea upon the rocks of Ilfracombe, whilst in the south the land gradually slopes 
down towards the wide semicircular bay bounded by Start Point and the Bill of 
Portland. Human habitations are few and far between on this plateau, being 
confined to hamlets and lonely farms hidden away in the hollows. The slopes 
of the hills are covered with heather or short herbage, whilst their summits 
are occupied by sepulchral mounds or ancient entrenchments. The Quantock 
Hills, to the east of Exmoor, are the only part of England where the stag still 
lives in a wild state. 

A second mountain mass, the Dartmoor, rises to the west of the river Exe into 
the region of pasture, culminating in the Yeo Tor (2,077 feet), and High Wilhays 

Pig. 41.— Land's End and the Longships Lighthovse. 





(2,040 feet). The nucleus of this mountain group consists of granite, and the 
rivers which rise in it diverge in all directions, feeding the Teign and Exe in 
the east ; the Taw and Torridge in the north ; the Tamar, or Tamer, in the west ; 
the Tavy, Avon, and Dart in the south. The coast-line projects far to the south, 
where the spurs of Dartmoor approach it, as if the floods of the ocean had been 
powerless in their attacks upon the rocks which envelop this nucleus of granite. 
Start Point, the extreme promontory, is thus named because vessels take their 
departure from it when about to venture upon the open ocean. Two estuaries 
bound the uplands which culminate in Dartmoor, viz. that of the Ex in the east, 
and that of the Tamar, which debouches upon many-armed Plymouth Sound, in 



THE CORNISH PENINSULA. 77 

the west. Dartmoor, within its proper limits, covers an area of 200 square 
miles, and its population is as sparse as that of Exmoor. Many of its valleys, 
where villages would be sheltered from the cold winds which sweep the heights, 
are filled with peat and quaking " stables." Piles of stone and the sepulchral 
mounds of the ancient inhabitants of the country crown the summits of some of the 
tors, those enormous masses of granite which form the most striking feature of the 
scenery. In former times most of the slopes were covered with trees, but they 
have long ago disappeared, and the ancient Dartmoor Forest has become the home 
of partridges and heath-cocks. Hidden away in one of its wildest recesses lies the 
small village of Prince Town (thus named in honour of the Prince of Wales, who 
owns most of the surrounding land), and near it is one of the largest convict 
prisons in England. 

The uplands of Cornwall are far inferior to Exmoor and Dartmoor in elevation. 
They, too, are dreary treeless wastes, intersected by boggy valleys, and are 
composed of a great variety of rocks, including limestones and schists, granite and 
porphyry. From Hartland Point, which bounds Barnstaple Bay in the west, a 
range of hills and small plateaux stretches south and south-westward to the 
extremity of the peninsula, its spurs terminating in cliffs or chaotic masses of rock 
along the sea-coast. The Cornish heights culminate in Brown Willy, 1,864 feet. 
They are bounded in the east by the valley of the Tamar, and deeply penetrated by 
the winding estuary of the Fal, which almost severs the bold cliffs forming their 
western extremity from the body of the peninsula. Lizard Point (224 feet), a 
bold mass of variegated rock, surmounted by two lighthouses lit by electricity, 
is the southernmost point of England. Its latitude (49° 57') is nearly the same 
as that of Dieppe, Amiens, and Mayence. A small group of hills to the west 
of the St. Ives and Mount's Bays terminates in the headlands of Cornwall 
and Land's End. The Scilly Islands, which lie off these, are now the only 
vestiges of an extensive tract of land. Tradition tells us that anciently the districts 
of the Lionesse and Lelothsow, with forty villages, extended from Cori^vall to 
these islands. An old family bears on its coat of arms a horse escaping from the 
sea, in memory of an ancestor whom the fleetness of his charger saved from a 
premature death when these districts were swallowed up by the sea.* 

The aspect of the headlands varies with the nature of the rocks composing 
them, and the strength of the winds and waves to which they are exposed. 
Lizard Point, a mass of compact serpentine, is being gnawed by the waves, which, 
however, are unable to break it up. Land's End is a mass of tabular granite 
weathered iilto huge blocks, piled one upon the other like cyclopean walls. 
Cape Cornwall, composed of slate, is being split up into laminae. The moist 
and saliferous air proves exceedingly destructive, and on many hills the rocks 
have been broken into quadrangular masses, hardly to be distinguished from 
the artificial structures raised by the ancient inhabitants of the country. The 
waves, however, are the principal agents of destruction along the coast. Yast 
caverns, locally known as "Hugos," have been scooped out at the foot of 

* Carew, " Survey of Cornwall." 



78 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



the cliffs, and into these the waves rush with great noise. Isolated pinnacles, 
washed by the ocean's foam, rise beyond the line of cliffs, whilst sunken rocks, the 
remains of ancient promontories, still break the force of the waves, above which 
they formerly rose. Old chronicles tell us of hills and tracts of coast which have 
been swaUowed up by the sea. Mount St. Michael, in Mount's Bay, rose formerly, 
like its namesake off the coast of Normandy, in the midst of a wooded plain, which 

rig. 42.— The "Akmed Knights," near Land's End, Coknwall. 




has disappeared beneath the waves. The church which crowns its summit is 
referred to in ancient documents as *' Hoar Kirk in the Wood," but the famous 
Mount is now alternately a peninsula and an island, according to the state of the 
tide. The wind, more especially along the north coast, has likewise aided in 
changing the form of the littoral region, for it has piled up dunes, or " towans," 
which travel towards the interior of the country until " fixed " by plantations, or 
consolidated into sandstone through the agency of the oxide of iron which the 



THE CORNISH PENINSULA. 79 

sand contains.* Oscillations of the land appear likewise to have had a large share 
in the changes witnessed along the coasts of Cornwall and Devonshire. On the 
beach which the retiring tide uncovers at the foot of the Exmoor cliffs, along 
the Bristol Channel, may be seen the remains of ancient forests which can have 
grown only on dry land. The submarine forest of Babbacombe, on the southern 
coast of Devonshire, between Teignmouth and Torquay, indicates a subsidence of the 
land to the extent of at least 20 feet. This subsidence, however, was evidently 
preceded by an upheaval, for ancient beaches have been discovered far inland on 
the hillsides. One of the caverns of this upheaved coast yielded flint implements, 
which proves that man was an inhabitant of the country at a remote epoch. t 
Prehistoric monuments are as numerous in Cornwall as in the Celtic countries of 
Wales and Brittany. Neither cromlechs, ** logans,*' nor rocking-stones, sepulchral 
mounds, nor rings of unhewn stones are wanting to give completeness to this open- 
air archaeological museum of Cornwall. 

Lundy Island (466 feet), a mass of granite 920 acres in extent, off Barnstaple 
Bay, marks the former limit of the coast in that direction, whilst the low 
archipelago of the Scilly Islands may be looked upon as an outlier of the Cornish 
peninsula. Only five out of the twenty-four islands of this archipelago exceed 
250 acres in area, and they alone are inhabited. + Samson, which had a few 
inhabitants in 1851, has since been abandoned, not because its inhabitants wished 
it, but by order of the despotic proprietor of these islands. The inhabitants of 
Samson, as well as the poor residing on the other islands, were transferred by him 
to the mainland, and his tenants were ordered to keep only one son with them, to 
be supported by the land. Those amongst them who had numerous families 
were obliged to send their sons to sea or to the ship-yards.§ The population 
decreases from decade to decade, but the inhabitants have grown considerabl)^ in 
wealth. The people of Scilly, though very small as far as numbers go, are never- 
theless an interesting subject for study, for amongst them the much- vaunted theory 
of an *' intelligent despotism " has been carried out with method and to perfection 
for nearly half a century. || 

The Scilly Islands can boast of some of the finest market gardens in England, 
and they are largely indebted to steam navigation for their prosperity, for by its 
means they are able to supply the London markets with early vegetables. The 
warm and moisture-laden atmosphere secures the gardeners of the Scilly Islands, 
and of the neighbouring coast of the Cornish peninsula, against winter frosts. 
But though the climate is highly favourable to the growth of foliage, it does not 
suit fruit. Even plums and apricots ripen only in exceptionally dry seasons. On 
an average there are only six days of real calm in the year. The wind blows 
almost without interruption from one point of the compass or the other, bringing 

* Alph. Esquiros, " L'Angleterre et la vie Anglaise." 
t Pengelly, Reader, Nov. 19, 1864. 

Area. 
X St. Mary's, Tresco, St. Martin's, St. Agnes, Boyer .... 2,330 acres. 

Nineteen uninhabited islands - • 289 ,, 

§ Population (1851), 2,627, (1861) 2,431, (1871) 2,075. 

II Froude, " Uses of a Landed Gentry " (Paper read at the Edinburgh Philosophical Institute). 



80 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



with it fogs, drizzling rain, or heavy showers. Storms are of frequent occurrence, 
and the number of shipwrecks is nowhere larger. The currents which meet at 
the SciUy Islands often carry vessels out of their true course, and during fogs 
cause them to run upon sunken rocks. It was here that, in 1707, the most disastrous 
shipwreck of modern times occurred. An entire fleet, commanded by Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, was thrown upon the rocks, and two thousand human souls passed together 

Fig. 43.— The Scilly Islands. 
Scale 1 : 170,000. 




'DO' 



W.oPGt 



6'25 



6° 15 



ESS 

Foresliore. 



Depth under 26 Fathoms 



to 54 Fathoms. 
. 2MUes. 



Over 54 Fathoms. 



into eternity. An old saying will have it that out of every ten natives of the 
Scilly Islands nine perish in the sea ; but thanks to lighthouses, lightships, fog 
signals, life-boats, and a change in the mode of life of the inhabitants, this, 
happily, is no longer true. 

The Cornish peninsula is quite as much a land of mist and rain as are the 
Scilly Islands. The annual rainfall is nowhere less than 30 inches ; in most 
localities it exceeds 3 feet, and on the western slopes of Dartmoor it rises to 



THE CORNISH PENINSULA. 81 

80 inclies. At Tavistock it rains almost incessantly, showers accompanyino- the 
wind from whatever quarter it blows. 

Many geographers have identified the Scilly Islands with the Cassiterides of 
the ancients, simply because of their vicinity to the Cornish mines. But these 
granitic islands in reality contain only feeble traces of metal, while the rocks of 
the neighbouring mainland abound in underground treasures, which have certainly 
been explored from a period anterior to Caesar's expedition. Old mines dating 
back to that time can still be traced, and the detached, almost insular, rock masses 
of Cornwall are undoubtedly the CEstrymnides or Cassiterides visited by the 
traders of Phoenicia and Carthage. During the Roman epoch the tin of Cornwall 
was sent across Gaul to Marseilles. 

The lodes of Cornwall are principally of copper and tin, sometimes sepa- 
rately, sometimes in combination. The richest lodes of tin have been discovered 
in the environs of Penzance, near the extretnity of the peninsula, whilst the most 
productive copper mines are some distance inland, more especially around Redruth. 
There are a few mines which, after having ceased to yield one metal, are 
worked for the sake of the other. In some instances the ores are exceedingly rich, 
and near the coast may be seen rocks dyed green by an efflorescence of copper ; * 
but as a rule the Cornish ores are very poor, containing scarcely 2 per cent, of 
tin, or from 3 to 4 per cent, of copper. Their value depended altogether upon 
the scarcity of the metal they yielded, and since the discovery of rich ores in 
the United States, Bolivia, Australia, and the Sunda Islands, it has decreased 
very much. In their search after the precious ores the valiant miners of Corn- 
wall have sunk pits and excavated galleries which rank amongst the curiosities 
of England. Powerful pumping-engines have been brought into requisition to 
empty the mines of the water which invades them through fissures in the rocks. 
But in the case of mines many hundred fathoms in depth artificial means for 
raising the water do not suffice, and an adit conveys it directly to the sea. 
The underground workings in the mining districts of Gwennap and Redruth 
reach to a depth of 1,750 feet below the surface, the galleries extend 60 
miles, the adit is 7 miles long, and sixty pumping-engines daily remove 100,000 
tons of water, being at the rate of more than a ton every second. The timber 
buried in the mines of Cornwall is supposed to be equivalent to a pine forest a 
hundred years old, and covering 140 square miles. 

Botallack promontory, near Cape Cornwall, one of the most picturesque rocks 
on the coast, is more especially curious on account of the copper mine which is 
hidden in its bowels. Almost severed from the mainland by a wide fissure, that 
enormous block of rock, 200 feet in height, is reached by narrow bridges 
constructed at a giddy height. Spiral railways wind round its flanks, and its 
pinnacles terminate in smoking chimneys. The workings are continued for 1,200 
feet under the bed of the Atlantic, and the miners can feebly hear the noise made 
by the pebbles rolling up and down the beach. In the neighbouring mine of 
Wheal Cock the lode has been followed to the very bed of the sea, and the hole 
* Carus, " England and Scotland in 1844." 



82 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



plugged up, to prevent its irruption. The noise of rolling pebbles and of the surf 
becomes terrific when we penetrate this mine, and on a tempestuous day the uproar 
is sufficient to cause even the hardiest miner to shudder. Elsewhere the old 
miners had the imprudence to follow a lode within so short a distance of the bed 
of the sea, that the latter broke through the roof of the mine and flooded a portion 
of its galleries. The hole, however, was fortunately stopped up by means of a 
plank platform covered with turf and weighted with stones. Another copper mme 
to the south of Penzance is often cited as an instance of the enterprise of the 
Cornish miners. It was commenced towards the close of the last century by a work- 

■pig. 44.— The Botallack Mine. 




ing miner, on a part of the beach which was covered twice daily by the advancing 
tide. Under these circumstances it was only possible to work for a few hours of the 
day. But when the mine had been enclosed by a wooden fence and joined to the 
land by a plank bridge, it became possible to work it continuously, and for a 
number of years the ** Wherry " yielded considerable quantities of copper. One 
day, however, during a storm, a vessel anchored in the neighbourhood, dragged her 
anchor, and was helplessly driven upon the wooden enclosure. The sea then once 
more invaded the mine, which has not since been worked.* 



* Dufrenoy et Elie de Beaumont, " Voyage metallurgique en Angleterre." 



THE CORNISH PENINSULA. S8 

But though the miners of Cornwall be ever so persevering, and take advan- 
tage of every improvement in machinery, the cost of coal and timber will not 
enable them to compete with other mining countries whose ores are richer. The 
Stannary Parliament, which used to discuss the business connected with the mines, 
meets no longer. Its last meetings took place in Devonshire in 1749, in Cornwall 
in 1752. Many of the miners have sought new homes beyond the Atlantic, 
and in proportion as the wealth of the mines diminishes, the country popula- 
tion decreases in numbers, and the towns grow larger. Quarries and china-clay 
diggings, though of importance, are not sufficiently so to compensate for the mines 
that had to be abandoned.* There remain, however, many sources of wealth, 
including pilchard and mackerel fisheries ; market gardens, from which London 
draws a large supply of early vegetables ; and productive fields, fertilised by the 
calcareous sand which is spread over them. The rocks of Cornwall are poor in 
carbonate of lime, resembling in this respect the rocks of Brittany, but there is an 
abundance of marine organisms, by which the lime contained in the water of the 
ocean is secreted, and the sand along the shore converted into a valuable fertiliser. 
For centuries this sand has been utilised to increase the productiveness of the soil. 
It is more especially made use of in the vicinity of the little bay of Padstow, 
where about 100,000 tons of it are annually spread over the fields, this being about 
one-fifth of the total quantity applied in this manner throughout Cornwall and 
Devonshire.! 

The inhabitants of the Cornish peninsula offered a long-continued resistance to 
the Saxon invaders, and in many localities they still present peculiar features. 
Black hair, sallow complexions, short and broad skulls, are met with more 
frequently than in other parts of England. Many of the women on the south 
coast, between Falmouth and Lizard Point, are of a southern type, which it has 
been sought to trace to an immigration from Spain, and indeed Tacitus writes of 
Iberians who settled in the country. A few vestiges of a division into hostile clans 
survive to the present day. The old language, however, a sister tongue of that 
of Wales, lives now only in the geographical nomenclature. For two centuries it 
had ceased to be commonly spoken, and the last woman able to express herself in 
the original language of the country died in 1778 at Mousehole, near Penzance. 
Enthusiastic philologists have raised a stone to her memory. A few words 
of Cornish have been preserved in the l^cal dialect. Cornish literature, which has 
been especially studied by Mr. Whitley Stokes, is, he says, limited to a glossary of 
the twelfth century, and a number of ** mysteries " of later date, for the most part 
adapted or translated from the contemporaneous literature current during the 
Middle Ages. A society has been formed in Cornwall for the purpose of publish- 
ing the ancient manuscripts. The numerous popular legends, which still form 
the stock of many a simple story-teller in the remote villages of Cornwall, have 
been collected and published in various English works. 

* In 1844 the mines yielded 152,970 tons of copper ore; at present they yield scarcely 50,000 tons. 
Of china clay, or kaolin, about 150,000 tons are annually exported, 
f Delesse, "Lithologie du fond des mers." 



84 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Topography. 

Cornwall, tlie extreme south-western county of England, terminates in the 
rocky promontories of Land's End and Lizard Point. The greater portion of its 
area is occupied by wild and barren moorlands, surmounted by bosses of granite 

Fig. 45. — Penzance. 

Scale 1 : 505,000. 




Foreshore. Depth under 5 Fathoms 5 to 10 Fathoms. 10 to 20 Fathoms. Over 20 Fathoms. 
1 Mile. 



and intersected by valleys with boggy bottoms. Mining, quarrying, fishing, and 
the cultivation of early vegetables constitute the principal sources of wealth. 

Penzance is admirably seated upon the shore of a fine semicircular bay, bounded 
on the east by the bold serpentine rocks of Lizard Point, and on the west by the 
heights which extend thence to the Land's End. It is the south- westernmost town 



CORNWALL. 3g 

in England, and is much frequented by visitors, who delight in its equable climate 
and luxuriant vegetation, and to whom bold cliffs of granite or serpentine, 
quarries and mines, and magnificent cromlechs, stone circles, logans, &c. (see 
page 30), present objects of attraction. Penzance is the centre of an important 
mining, fishing, and agricultural district. Within a radius of 7 or 8 miles of 
it are situated some of the most celebrated " setts " in the county of Cornwall 
including Botallack and its neighbour Wheal Owles, which hardly yields to it in 
reputation. The harbour is formed by a breakwater, and defended by batteries. 
The town has smelting-houses, and works where serpentine is fashioned into cups 
and vases. It exports early vegetables and fish. Penzance was the birthplace of 
Sir Humphry Davy, to whom a monument has been erected, and is justly proud 
of the scientific collections accumulated by its geological, natural history, and 
antiquarian societies. Porthcurno, near Penzance, and other creeks in its vicinity, 
are the points of departure of three submarine cables, which connect England with 
the Spanish ports of Santander and Vigo, and the Portuguese village of Carcavellos, 
near Lisbon, whence the cable is carried on to Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. 
In addition to these a submarine cable connects Penzance with a lightship 50 miles 
to the south-west, which hails all passing ships and places them in communica- 
tion with their owners in London. Madron and Ludgvan are ancient market 
towns, within a couple of miles of Penzance, but are exceeded in interest by the 
pretty village of Marazion, opposite the pyramidal St. Michael's Mount, with which 
it is connected by an ancient causeway, flooded eight hours out of every twelve. 
The Mount rises to a height of 95 feet, and is crowned by an ancient castle, partly 
in ruins, commanding a magnificent prospect. 

Helston, on the Looe, which enters the sea 9 miles to the north-east of Lizard 
Point, depends upon mines and agriculture for such prosperity as it enjoys. 
E/Ounding the promontory just named, and its quarries of serpentine, we reach the 
estuary of the Fal, and with it the important town of Falmouth, beautifully seated 
on the shore of a magnificent harbour, bounded in the south by the conical 
promontory surmounted by Pendennis Castle, and protected by a breakwater. 
The harbour of Falmouth is one of the finest in England, capable of sheltering an 
entire fleet. The town itself is mean, but its environs abound in picturesque 
scenery. Penryn, on an inlet of Falmouth Harbour, is known for its granite 
quarries. St. Mawes, opposite Falmouth, boasts an ancient castle erected in the 
time of Henry VIII. Proceeding up the beautiful haven at the entrance of which 
lie Falmouth and St. Mawes, and which is known as Carrick Eoads, we reach 
Truro, the finest town in Cornwall, and recently created an episcopal see. Truro 
has smelting-houses and paper-mills, and exports the ores obtained from the 
neighbouring mines. Like Penzance, it can boast of its museum and scientific 
institutions. It was the birthplace of Richard and John Lander, the African 
travellers. A cathedral of noble proportions is being raised. 

Rounding Dodman Head, we reach Mevagisseij, one of the principal seats of the 
pilchard fishery, and farther north the small town of Charlestown, which is the port 
of St. Austell, known for its china-clay diggings and potteries. Par, on the 



86 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



northern side of St. Austell Bay, has a small harbour defended by a breakwater, 
and exports china clay and iron ore from the neighbouring mines of St. Blazey. 

Foweyy at the mouth of the estuary of the same name, has an excellent harbour, 
defended by forts and batteries, and much frequented. Three hundred years ago 
Fowey was the most important maritime city in the south-west of England. The 
site of Falmouth was at that time occupied by a solitary house, whilst Fowey 

Fig. 46. — Falmouth and Tkuro. 
Scale 1 : 176,000. 




Depth under 10 Fathoms 



Depth over 10 Fathoms. 
2 Miles. 



furnished Edward III. with forty-seven vessels for the siege of Calais. It was a 
noted place for pirates, and its mariners occasionally even fought vessels from other 
English ports, including those of Rye and Winchelsea. The town was burnt by 
the French in 1457. Lostwithiel is higher up on the Fowey, which yields excellent 
trout and smelts. 

East and West Looe are two old-fashioned fishing villages at the mouth of the 



DEVONSHIRE. 



87 



river Looe, which affords access to the old mining town of Liskeard. Granite 
and ores are the principal articles of export. 

The north-western coast of Cornwall is far poorer in good harbours than the 
south-east coast. The most important is St. Ives, the principal seat of the 
pilchard fishery. It is a quaint old town at the entrance to a fine bay, on which is 
also situated the small port of Hayle. Both export the produce of the neighbour- 
ing mining district, the centres of which are Redruth, Camborne, and Phillack. 

Neiv Quay, farther north, exports a little iron ore. Padstow, at the mouth of 
the estuary of the Camel, has an indifferent harbour, but is of some importance on 
account of its fisheries and coasting trade. It is a very ancient, but by no means 
an attractive place. Following the Camel upwards, we reach Bodmin, the county 
town, but not otherwise remarkable, and Camelford, near the head of that river. 
In its neighbourhood are the slate quarries of Delahole. Once more resuming our 
voyage along the cliff-bound coast, we pass the castle of Tintagel on its lofty rock, 
and reach Bude Haven, at the mouth of a canal, by which tons of sand containing 
carbonate of lime are transported inland. 

The only place of importance in the interior of the county not yet noticed is 
Launceston, with a fine Gothic church and a ruined castle, on the Attery, a 
tributary of the Tamar, which separates Cornwall from Devonshire. 

Devonshire is noted throughout England for its picturesque scenery, its rich 
pasture-lands, orchards, and copper mines. The north of the county is occupied by 
the treeless moorlands of Exmoor, the centre by the equally sterile Dartmoor 
Forest ; in the east the Black Downs extend into the county from Dorsetshire ; but 
the south is rich in orchards, and hence is known as the " Garden of Devonshire.' ' 

Plymouth, with its sister towns of Devonport and Stonehouse, has grown into the 
greatest centre of population on the south-west coast of England. No other town has 
been so frequently mentioned in connection with expeditions of war and discovery. 
It was from Plymouth that Sir Francis Drake started in 1577, and Cook in 1772. 
Although a town of war, girdled by fortifications, with crenellated walls occupying 
every point of vantage, Plymouth is nevertheless a beautiful town. From the 
surrounding heights and from the walks which line the quays we look in all 
directions upon bays and inlets of the sea studded with vessels. Here steamers 
glide STNdftly from shore to shore ; there sailing vessels are anchored in the 
roadstead ; farther away we look upon men-of-war and huge hulks towering 
above the water; whilst on the open sea, which glistens beyond the break- 
water, may be seen passing vessels with swollen sails. Kight opposite to the town 
rise the heights of Mount Edgcumbe, clad with fine trees, divided by broad 
avenues into picturesque masses. When the sun lights up the landscape we 
might almost fancy ourselves transported to some Italian city on the Mediter- 
ranean seaboard, the delusion being heightened by the clustering pines. The 
magnificent roadstead of Plymouth, known as the "Sound," covers 1,800 acres, 
and receives the tribute of the rivers Plym and Tamar, the estuary of the 
first forming the harbour of Catwater on the east, and that of the latter the 
Hamoaze on the west. The harbour was long exposed to the heavy sea which 



Qg THE BRITISH ISLES. 

rolled into the Sound with the southerly gales, often causing great damage. To 
remedy this defect a breakwater, 5,100 feet in length, has been constructed 
across its middle. This stupendous work was commenced in 1812 by Rennie, 
and completed in 1846 at a cost of nearly £2,000,000 sterling. About two 
million and a half tons of blocks of coarse marble have been employed m its 
construction. It is continually requiring repairs, for during severe gales the 



Fig. 47.— Plymouth. 

Scale 1 : 268,000, 




Depth under W to 20 

10 Fathoms. Fathoms. 



20 to; 
Fathoms. 



Miles. 



blocks composing it, notwithstanding their weighing between 60 and 80 tons, are 
often forced from their positions, whilst the destructive work of the pholades, or 
pittocks, is going on at all times, converting the solid rock into pumice-like masses. 
More than once this barrier has been broken through by the sea, and it is on record 
that a helpless vessel was washed over the breakwater by the infuriated waves, and 
landed in the inner Sound.* Experts assert that the height of the breakwater 

* Carus, " England and Scotland in 1844." 



DEVONSHIRE. 89 

above the level of the sea is insufficient, in consequence of which the waves 
wash over it during gales, transmitting their undulatory movement as far as the 
inner harbour.* 

Plymouth, in addition to its breakwater, can boast of other remarkable 
engineering works, testifying to the spirit of enterprise possessed by Englishmen. 
The Royal William victualling-yards in the modern town of Stonehouse cover an 
area of 14 acres at the extremity of the peninsula which separates the Sound from 
the harbour of Hamoaze, Devonport, which is still confined within a bastioned 
wall, possesses one of the great dockyards of the kingdom, whilst far out at sea the 
proximity of Plymouth is revealed by a lofty lighthouse, boldly raised upon a rock 
in mid-channel. Shipwrecks were formerly frequent on the group of the Eddy- 
stone rocks, one of which is occupied by the lighthouse. The first structure 
was erected in 1696. It was of wood, and a storm in 1703 completely washed it 
and its architect away. Another lighthouse was built, 1706 — 1709, also of wood, 
but was burned in 1755. The third structure was constructed by Smeaton, 1757 — 59. 
It is noted for its strength and the engineering skill it displays, and rises to a 
height of 85 feet, its light being visible at a distance of 13 miles. This structure 
still stands, but it, also, is doomed to disappear, for the rock it occupies is slowly, 
but surely, being undermined by the waves. The new lighthouse, now in course of 
construction, will rise to the stupendous height of 130 feet, and its light will thus be 
placed beyond the reach of the waves. 

Plymouth, with its sister cities, depends for its prosperity in a large measure upon 
the Government establishment of which it is the seat. Its coasting trade is exten- 
sive, but not so its commerce with foreign countries. Ship-building and the refining 
of sugar are the principal industries. Amongst the public buildings the most 
remarkable are the new Guildhall, the Athenaeum, with a valuable museum, and 
the public library. Flympton, a small market town to the east of Plymouth, was 
the birthplace of Sir Joshua Reynolds. 

Proceeding up the Tamar, we pass beneath the wonderful Albert Suspension 
Bridge, which spans the river at a height of 260 feet, and has a length of 2,240 
feet. It connects the Devonshire side of the river with Saltash, a small town in 
Cornwall, noted for its acres of vineries, in which tons of grapes are grown 
every year. Higher up on the Tamar we reach Morwelham Quay, the port of the 
mining town of Tavistock, with which it is connected by a canal, running for a 
considerable distance through a tunnel. Tavistock, on the Tavy, and at the 
western foot of Dartmoor, has copper and lead mines. About 7 miles to the east 
of it lies the village of Prince Toicn, with a convict establishment. 

Salcombe River, the sinuous estuary of the Avon, penetrates far into the 
southernmost portion of Devonshire. Salcombe Regis occupies a magnificent 
position near its mouth. Its equable temperature has earned for it the epithet of 
the " English Montpelier." Here oranges and lemons ripen in the open air. 

Rounding Start Point, we reach the estuary of the river Dart, the entrance to 
which is commanded by the ancient town of Dartmouth. Its houses rise tier 

* Cialdi, "On Wave Action." Revue maritime et coloniale, January, 1876. 
103— E 



90 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



above tier on the hillsides. Dartmouth has a convenient harbour. It was the 
birthplace of Newcomen, the improver of the steam-engine. Higher up on the 
Dart rises Totnes, with the ruins of an ancient castle, and still farther inland is 
Ashhurton, a mining town, almost in the centre of the cider district of South 
Hams. 

Several towns of note are seated upon the shore of Tor Bay. Brixham, on its 
south side, is the principal fishing town of Devonshire, about two hundred trawlers 

Fig. 48.— Smeaton's Eddystone Lighthouse. 




belonging to its port. Its harbour is protected by a breakwater. It was here 
that William of Orange landed in 1688. Paignton, in the centre of the bay, has 
a small harbour. Torquay, on the northern side of the bay, rises in terraces 
above the magnificent quay, whilst the surrounding heights are studded with 
villas. It is the most important seaside resort on the south coast of England 
to the west of Brighton, its equable climate and the shelter afforded by the 
surrounding heights also attracting a large number of persons suffering from 
consumption. The influx of bathers and invalids has caused the population of 



DEVONSHIRE. 



91 



the town to increase rapidly, and has given rise to a considerable local trade, its 
small port now being frequently crowded with shipping. Kent's Hole, near 
Torquay, and a similar cavern near Brixham, are remarkable on account of the 
stone implements, human remains, and bones of animals which have been found in 
them. The fossil fauna of these underground galleries embraces forty-six or forty- 
seven species of animals, including the bear, otter, fox, wolf, hyena, panther, stag, 
ox, pig, rhinoceros, and elephant, and, amongst the smaller animals, the mouse.* 
Flint implements, which first attracted the notice of men of science, were discovered 
between 1825 and 1841. Kent's Hole has been known for centuries, and, accord- 



Fig. 49. — Eddystone Rocks. 
From an Admiralty Chart. 



.« — 



EDDY- STONE ROOCS '^ ^7 

Soimdmgs in Tathoms ^<' ^ * : $ . 

their AdS^tt^orelofvWcrfcp^ia^ ^^ ^«*-=- -.=r. — • ' -^=*=— 

ff __, _ 7'rcfe Sipplmffs £^ 's^ ^,^ 1 •- ^ ^ 



J5 






6) 



\-t 



:5 



'~^:^. ^^^~ 



^ 



\- ^'Th-' ^ — ■••^— 



7 I;: ' " tf TldeKippfm^ 



vrsibffli-mHts. , 










I .... n£i*t 




7feeV: 



12 13 

6 



Joo 300 300 400 500 600 AetorJL caale 



ing to local tradition, it owes its name to a falcon which flew into it and reappeared 
in the county of Kent. 

8t. Mary Church, a couple of miles to the north of Torquay, has marble and 
terra-cotta works. Teignmoiith has marble works, and exports potter's clay and 
cider, besides granite from the Heytor quarries. Neicton Abbot and Woolborough 
lie 5 miles inland, whilst Boveij Tracey, known to geologists for its lignite coal 
beds and diggings of potter's clay, occupies the centre of a valley which joins that 
of the Teiffn on the east. Dawlish, a short distance to the north of Teignmouth, 



* MacEnery ; Pengelly, " Kent's Hole;" Boyd Dawkins {Journal of the Geological Society, vol. xxv. 



1869). 



92 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



at the foot of steep cliffs, has grown from a small fishing village into a fashion- 
able watering-place. 

Exmoiith commands the entrance to the estuary of the river Exe. It is charm- 
ingly situated, and is much resorted to by sea-bathers. Ascending the Exe, we 
reach Toj}shmn, which has ship yards and rope-walks, and is connected by a ship 
canal, 15 feet deep, with the city of Exeter. The Exe is said to have been formerly 
navigable for sea- going vessels as far as the quays of Exeter, but the municipality 



Fig. 50.— Tor Bay. 
Scale 1 : 120,000. 




Under 5 Fathoms. 



Over 5 Fathoms. 
1 Mile. 



having offended the neighbouring nobility by forbidding inhabitants of the town 
to appear in the livery of a lord without previously obtaining the license of the 
mayor and his council, an Earl of Devon had the water dammed above Topsham, 
and thus caused the river to silt up rapidly. The village of Topsham, which 
was his property, then became the port of the whole district. It is, however, far 
more reasonable to suppose that the Exe became silted up through the slow opera- 
tion of natural agencies. 



DEVONSHIEE. 



93 



Exeter is proudly seated upon a steep hill on the left bank of the Exe. This 
ancient capital of the West Saxons, whose resistance to the Normans was broken 
by the massacre ordered by William the Conqueror in 1085, still possesses several 
remarkable mediaeval buildings, including the remains of the Norman castle of 



Fig. 51. — EXETEII AND THE ESTUARY OF THE ExE. 
Scale 1 : 250.000. 




5- 30' 



3°25' 



W.oF Gr 



Depth under 5 Fathoms. 



5 to 10 Fathoms. Over 10 Fathoms. 

__^_^— .^^ 2 Miles. 



Rougemont, portions of the old city walls, a Guildhall of the sixteenth century, 
and, above all, its cathedral. This edifice was erected between 1107 and 1206 ; it 
boasts of fine stained-glass windows, curious paintings on stone, and beautiful wood 
carvings, and is the only church in England which has transeptal towers. Amongst 



94 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



modern buildings the most striking is the Albert Museum. In tbe beginning of 
the sixteenth century Exeter was the centre of the English woollen industry, since 
transferred to Yorkshire. Crediton, 7 miles to the north-west, on the river Greedy, 
a tributary of the Exe, lies in the centre of a prosperous agricultural district. The 
parish of Sandford, near it, is said to be the most fertile in all Devonshire. 
Tiverton, a place of some importance on the Upper Exe, engages in the lace trade 
and net-making. 

Sidmouth and Axmouth are favourite watering-places to the east of the Exe. 
Sidmouth, in a narrow glen formed by the river Sid, occupies a site of striking 
beauty, red cliffs of Devonian sandstone presenting a charming contrast to the 
white sand of the beach and the greenish floods of the English Channel. Axmouth, on 
the other hand, has become famous through a landslip which occurred in December, 
1839, and has formed the subject of careful observation on the. part of Sir Charles 

Fig. 52.— Exeter Cathedral. 




Lyell and other geologists. A mass of chalk and sandstone, resting upon a bed of 
sand, had become thoroughly saturated with water. The sand being unable any 
longer to support the superincumbent mass, the whole of it slid down upon the 
beach, producing a rent 4,000 feet long, 250 feet wide, and 100 to 150 feet deep. 

Honiton and Ottenj St. Manj, both on the river Otter, and Colyton, on the 
river Axe, are the principal seats for the manufacture of pillow lace. Honiton is 
noted for its cleanliness, Ottery St. Mary for its church, which is an imitation of 
Exeter Cathedral on a reduced scale, and Colyton for its flint-built, slate-covered 
houses. Axminster, on a hill overlooking the Axe, has a famous old church, and 
was formerly noted for its carpets, but their manufacture has been discontinued 
since 1835. 

Barnstaple is the principal town in North Devonshire. It lies in a verdant 
valley at the head of the estuary of the Taw, has ship-yards, potteries, and a few 



DEVONSHIEE. 95 

other manufectures, and a port accessible to coasting vessels. It is mucli frequented 
bv tourists on their way to the delightful watering-places of Ilfracombe and Lyn- 
moufh, at the foot of the cliffs and escarpments in which Exmoor Forest terminates 
towards the Bristol ChanneL South Molton, in the interior of the county, to the 
south-east of Barnstaple, has iron mines. Bide/ord, on the estuary of the Torrid ge, 
which is tributary to that of the Taw, possesses greater facilities for navigation, 
its quays being accessible to vessels of 500 tons burden. Xoriham lies to the 
north of it, on the estuary. We^firard Ho ' on the open ocean, to the west of 
it, is rising into favour as a watering-place. TorrimgUm, where leather gloves are 
made, is the only town of any importance on the Torridge above BidefonL 




CHAPTER IV. 




THE BASIN OF THE SEVERN AND THE BRISTOL CHANNEL. 
(Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, HE^EFORDSHiaE, Gloucestershire, Somersetshire.) 

General Features. 

HE upper watershed of the Severn lies within Wales, but no sooner 
has that river become navigable than it crosses the boundary into 
England, and, sweeping round to the south and south-west, it irri- 
gates the gently inclined plains bounded by the distant escarpments 
of table-lands. The six shires whose boundaries approximately 
coincide with those of the basin of the Severn, including therein the Avon 
and other rivers tributary to the Bristol Channel, are distinguished, upon the 
whole, for gentle undulations, fertility of soil, beauty and variety of scenery, 
and facility of communication, and they have consequently attracted a large 
population. 

Still, along the Welsh boundary there rise a few hills which are almost 
entitled to be called mountains. A range of heights, rising to an altitude of 1,250 
feet, occupies nearly the centre of the wide curve formed by the Severn. This is 
the Long Mynd, which is of very humble aspect, if compared with the Snowdon 
and other mountain giants of Wales, but famous in the geology of England as 
being the "foundation-stone,'* as it were, of the whole country, for it was 
around this small nucleus of Cambrian rocks that the more recent sedimentary 
strata were deposited.* The Long Mynd and other ranges in that part of 
Shropshire are joined on the one side to the hills of Wales, whilst in the 
north-east they extend to the Severn, and may be traced even beyond that river, 
where the Wrekin (1,320 feet) rises almost in the centre of the county. The view 
from its summit is superb, extending from Derbyshire to Snowdon. The range 
of the Clee Hills (1,788 feet), somewhat more elevated than the Long Mynd, 
stretches to the southward, and bounds the valley of the Severn in the west. It 
is continued in the Malvern Hills (1,396 feet), famous for the diversity of their 
scenery, the purity and salubrity of their air, their variety of vegetation, and the 
* Murchison, " Siluria : The Historv of the Oldest Rocks." 



THE BASIN OF THE SEVERN AND THE BRISTOL CHANNEL. 



97 



virtue of their medicinal springs. Whilst the Malvern Hills are covered with 
villas and hotels, the Forest of Dean, to the south of them, has become a great 
centre of industry, abounding in coal and iron. Dean Forest, notwithstanding its 
coal-pits and blast furnaces, is a picturesque district, comprising some 26,000 acres 
of wild woodland, producing some of the finest timber in the country. 

Of the ranges which bound the vale of the Severn on the east, the Cotswold 
Hills, rising in Cleeve Hill to a height of 1,134 feet, are the most important. 
These hills are named after their "cots," or shepherds' huts, and have in turn 
given their name to one of the most highly prized breeds of sheep, whose excellence 
is due to the short and savoury grass which grows upon the oolitic rocks. This 



Fig. 53. — Promontories and Beach of "Weston-supek-Make. 
Scale 1 : 195,000. 




WoF Or 



Foreshore. 



Depth under 
2i Fathoms. 



Depth 2i to 5 
Fathoms. 



3 Miles. 



Depth over 5 
Fathoms. 



range terminates in the hills which form so fine an amphitheatre around Bath, on 
the Avon, and may be traced even beyond that river, where there are a few 
heights belonging to the same geological formations. The environs of Bath 
are well known for their fossil wealth. Here cuttle-fish of gigantic size have 
been found, which still retained pigment fit for use, notwithstanding the count- 
less ages that must have elapsed from the time of its secretion by the living 
organism. 

Towards its mouth the valley of the Severn is almost shut in by spurs thrown 
ofi" from the mountains of Wales and the range of the Cotswolds. To the north of 
this ancient barrier the vale of Gloucester widens, its shape being that of a 
triangle whose apex lies in the south. The rocks spread over the valley of 



98 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

the Severn and that of its affluent, the Avon, are triassic, but there was a 
time when ranges of carboniferous limestone extended right across the Bristol 
Channel, connecting the hills of Somerset with those of Wales. The Mendip 
Hills (1,067 feet) are a remnant of this formation, and so are the three parallel 
ridges near Weston-super-Mare, which jut out into the Bristol Channel. The 
cape facing them in Wales belongs to the same formation, as do also the forti- 
fied islands of Steepholm (240 feet) and Flatholm, which connect the fragments 
of the ancient limestone range, which has disappeared through long-continued 
erosive action. These islands, together with the sand-banks in their neighbour- 
hood, form the natural boundary between the estuary of the Severn and the Bristol 
Channel. 

The Severn, in comparison with the great rivers of continental Europe, is 
only a feeble stream. About 30 inches of rain fall within its basin, and this 
amount would be sufficient to sustain a river discharging 11,000 cubic feet of 
water per second throughout the year, if large quantities were not absorbed by the 
vegetation, sucked up by the soil, or evaporated into the air. It is only by the 
construction of locks that the Severn, up to Worcester, has been converted into 
a navigable river, having an average depth of nearly 8 feet. The Wye, Usk, 
Lower Avon, and other rivers, which discharge themselves into the estuary of the 
Severn, are usually looked upon as its affluents, though in reality they are 
independent rivers, having their proper regime, and forming minor estuaries of 
their own. Including these, the Severn drains an area of 8,119 square miles; it 
discharges on an average 5,300 cubic feet of water per second, a quantity raised to 
12,000 cubic feet when it is in flood.* 

In no other part of Europe does the tide rise to the same height as in the 
Bristol Channel and the estuary of the Severn. In reality we have to do here 
with three tidal waves, which enter the channel simultaneously, and increase in 
height and vehemence in proportion to the resistance they meet with on their 
progress up the funnel-shaped estuary. One of these tidal waves originates in the 
open Atlantic, and travels along the coast from the Land's End ; the second is 
thrown back by the coast of Ireland, and enters through the centre of the channel ; 
a third arrives from the northern part of the Irish Sea, coalesces with the former off 
St. David's Head, and thus doubles its height. This enormous mass of water, 
discoloured by the waste of the land resulting from its erosive action, rushes up 
the channel with considerable velocity, producing a rise at ordinary tides of 40 to 
43 feet. At spring tides the rise at Chepstow, at the mouth of the Wye, is 60 

* Kivers which discharge themselves into the estuary of the Severn :— 

Drainage Basin. Length. Average. 

Sq. Miles. Miles. Cubic Feet. 

Severn . . . 4,350 158 5,300 per sec. 

Avon of Bristol . 891 62 1,100 

Wye . . . 1,609 135 2,100 

Usk- ... 540 65 880 

Smaller rivers . . 729 186 1,000 

Total 8,119 606 10,380 



THE BASIN OF THE SEVERN AND THE BRISTOL CHANNEL. 



99 



feet. The Severn estuary presents the aspect of a river only at low water, 
when in some places it is no more than from 700 to 900 feet wide. Sand- 
hanks and ledges of rock then make their appearance above the water, and 
vessels which fail to take advantage of the rising tide to reach their port of desti- 
nation are obliged to cast anchor in some favourable spot, until the next tide 
enables them to proceed on their voyage. At low water the Lower Severn is 
scarcely navigable, and even the mouths of the Wye and Avon are sometimes 
inaccessible. As to the fishing- smacks, they allow the retiring tide to leave them 



Fig. 54.— Bristol Channel. 
From an Admiralty Chart. 







Mtan 
H 
S'lrry TV. 

'""Mr^^ ~' f ?aJ^rvH . V. 

^^ yy BoJiislaple lind^jf TI 



high and dry upon a sand-bank. From afar the fishermen see the shining crest of 
the approaching tidal wave ; soon the river is arrested in its flow and turned back 
upon itself ; the sand-bank grows less and less ; the waves approach the sides of 
the vessel ; they burrow in the sand in which its keel is embedded, and gradually 
uplift it. The steersman once more grasps the helm, and he finds himself afloat, 
where but a few minutes before there extended a mere waste of sand. In the upper 
and narrower part of the estuary, where the interval between low and high water 
is very short, the advancing tide- wave rushes suddenly up, and forms a dangerous 
bore. At spring tides this bore is felt as high up as Gloucester, and owing to its 



100 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



suddenness is dangerous to small craft. Shouts of " Flood O ! flood O ! " herald 
its approach, and warn boatmen to prepare to meet its shock. The tide-waves, 
especially when a high wind blows up channel, frequently endanger the safety 
of the coast lands, and miles of sea-wall have been constructed for their protec- 



tion. 



Some of the sand-banks in the channel of the Severn are of considerable extent, 
that known as the Welsh Grounds, for instance, covering an area of 10 square 
miles. They have been utilised, in a few cases, for the construction of piers, 



Fig. 55.— Railway Fekry at Portskewet. 
Scale 1 : 75,000. 



im^^wm^m 




Q-39' W.ofGj-. 



Foreshore. 



1 Mile. 



as at Portskewet, where a railway ferry-boat crosses the river at regular intervals. 
Until quite recently the first bridge met with on ascending the Severn was that of 
Gloucester, but since 1879 a railway bridge has spanned the river at the Sharpness 
Docks, above the entrance to the Gloucester and Berkeley Ship Canal. Including 
a masonry approach, this bridge has a total length of 4,162 feet. It is composed 
of bowstring girders, carried on cast-iron cylinders filled with concrete. Two of its 
spans have a width of 327 feet each, with a headway of 70 feet above the 
high- water level of ordinary spring tides. 

The basin of the Severn is designed by nature as a region of great commercial 




SHREWSBURY-HOUSE OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. 



SHROPSHIRE. 101 

activity, for whilst, on the one hand, it impinges upon the coal-fields of Wales, it 
approaches on the other the metalliferous formations of Cornwall, and its eastern 
affluents mingle their waters, in the very centre of England, with those of the 
Trent and Thames, which flow to the German Ocean. But this region is peculiarly 
favoured by the vast estuary of the Severn in its commercial intercourse with 
trans- Atlantic countries. This estuary is a counterpart of that of the Thames, 
and lies under the same latitude. Jointly they almost sever Southern England 
from the northern part of the island, and merely looking to geographical features, 
we might conclude that the two leading commercial towns of the country would 
have sprung up on these great natural outlets. But whilst London actually holds 
that position with reference to the neighbouring countries of continental Europe, 
Bristol has not been able to maintain its superiority in the face of the competition 
of Liverpool. Its geographical position is no doubt more favourable than that 
of the great seaport of Lancashire, and during a considerable period it main- 
tained its rank as the foremost commercial town of Western England. Geographi- 
cal disadvantages, however, are more than counterbalanced, in the case of Liverpool, 
by its vicinity to productive coal, iron, and salt mines, and populous manufacturing 
towns. 

Topography. 

Shropshire, or Salop, is divided by the Severn into two almost equal portions, 
that to the north and east of the river being for the most part flat or undulating, 
whilst hills of moderate elevation occupy the tract beyond the Severn. The 
so-called plain of Shrewsbury, which extends into the county from the borders of 
Cheshire and stretches beyond the Severn as far as Church Stretton, forms a cha- 
racteristic feature, and is known for its fertility. On the east it is overlooked 
by the isolated summit of the Wrekin, the famous landmark of the entire 
county. From Clun Forest, in the west, several ranges of hills radiate like the 
spokes of a wheel, extending as far as the Severn, and in some instances even 
beyond it. The principal of these ranges are the Stiper Stones, Long Mynd, 
Caradoc Hills, and Wenlock Edge. Farther east, and nearer to the Severn, rise 
the Clee Hills, and before leaving the county that river washes the foot of the 
heights of the Forest of Wyre. Tillage and husbandry prevail in the north, 
cattle and sheep breeding in the hilly parts of the county. Much cheese is made, 
and a breed of horned sheep is peculiar to the county. Shropshire, however, is 
not wholly dependent upon agriculture, for it possesses productive coal and iron 
mines. Lead is also raised, but the copper mines appear to have become 
exhausted. The manufactures are comparatively unimportant. 

Shrewsbury, the capital of the county, is the first town washed by the Severn 
after that river has left Wales. In former times it was a place of great 
military importance, and the lofty peninsula, almost encircled by the Severn, upon 
which it is seated, was strongly fortified by walls and a Norman castle, of which 
there still exist considerable remains. Perhaps no other town in England is equally 
rich in fine mediseval buildings. The market-house dates from the sixteenth 



102 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



century; the Council House is an old mansion, where the court of the Welsh 
Marches was held. St. Mary's Church has an octagonal spire and a profusion of 
stained glass. ''Butchers' Row" is interesting on account of its quaint shops. 
Monuments have been raised in honour of Lord Hill and Lord Clive. Shrewsbury 



Pig. 56.— Shrewsbury. 
From the Ordnance Survey Map. Scale 1 : 63,1 



pr^fTfi*^ 







\ ^". "^^'Ac-^-fe^. 










iMile. 



carries on the manufacture of flannel, agricultural machmery, and linen- weaving, 
but is essentially an agricultural town. It is famous for its brawn and 
cakes. 

Descending the Severn, we soon reach Wroxeter, a village with a Norman 
church, and the ruins of the Roman city of Uriconium, at the foot of the Wrekin. 



SHKOPSHIRE. 108 

Host of the antiquities discovered on this spot have been deposited in the museum 
of Shrewsbury, but the visitor may still trace part of the old wall, the foundations 
of a basilica, and the remains of baths. The Roman city was probably destroyed 
by the Saxons, in the sixth century, when its defenders were Eomanised Britons. 

Below Wroxeter the Severn enters a narrow gorge, and passes through the coal 
and iron district of the county. Leaving the ruins of Buildtcas Ahhey on our left, 
we soon reach the iron bridge which joins the town of Ironhridge to that of 
Broseky, and is the oldest bridge of the kind in the world, having been erected in 
1779 by Abraham Darby, of Coalbrookdale. Broseley is noted for its tiles and 
tobacco-pipes, whilst the cluster of towns on the opposite bank of the river, 
including Ironhridge, Coalbrookdale, Daicley Magna, and Madeley, is the seat of a 
flourishing iron industry, which spreads northward through the beautiful dale of 
Coalbrook as far as Wellington, and in the north-east to Shifnal. Coalport, a few 
miles below the bridge, has potteries and china works. The iron industry of this 
district was established in 1709, and the works have retained their reputation for 
fine castings. It is probable, however, that these populous towns will at no very 
remote time sink as rapidly into insignificance as they have risen into importance. 
The whole of the western portion of this Shropshire coal basin has become 
exhausted, and large tracts exhibit only abandoned works and heaps of rubbish, 
which are gradually becoming clothed with soil. Sooner or later grass and 
herbage will spring up upon them, and it will then be impossible to distinguish 
them from natural hillocks. Two-thirds of the coal originally stored in this basin 
have already been raised to the surface, and before many years the iron-masters and 
coal miners will migrate to the east, in order to tap the coal beds which there 
underlie the Permian and new red sandstone formations.* 

To the south of this industrial district the Severn passes between " low *' 
and "high" Bridgenorth, the latter perched on a picturesque cliflf of sandstone, 
150 feet high. Besides the remains of its Norman castle, Bridgenorth may boast 
of several half-timbered houses, including that in which Bishop Percy, the collector 
of the " Eeliques," was born. 

The few towns in the northern portion of the county are quiet centres of 
agricultural districts. They include Osicestry, in the north-west, amidst prettily 
wooded hills, between Offa's and Watt's Dykes, the ancient frontier of Wales ; 
FAlesmere and Whitchurch in the north ; Market Drayton, on the Upper Tern and 
the Birmingham and Liverpool Canal ; and Newport. 

In the hilly region, bounded on the north and east by the valley of the Severn, 
and in the south by that of its tributary the Teme, there are only small market 
towns and villages. The principal of these are Much Wenlock, the centre of an 
extensive borough, including a considerable portion of the county ; Cleohury- 
Mortimer, in the Clee Hills ; Church Stretton, in a fertile pastoral district, between 
the Caradoc Hills and Long Mynd ; and Bishop's Castle, on the Welsh border. The 
river Teme runs along the southern border of the county. On it stands Ludlow, a 
famous old border-town, with curious timber houses and an extensive Norman 
* Edward Hull, " The Coal-fields of Great Britain." 



104 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

castle, where Milton wrote the masque of Comus, and Samuel Butler his 
"Hudibras." The town boasts a museum, rich in Silurian fossils found in the 
castle rock, and whilst these attract geologists, the picturesque environs are the 
delight of all lovers of nature. Higher up on the Teme is Clun, a quiet place 
with a ruined castle. In its neighbourhood small freehold properties, tilled by 
the proprietors and their families, are numerous. 

Worcestershire occupies the central portion of the fertile valley of the Severn, 
here about 15 miles in width, and shut in on the west by the Abberley and 
Malvern Hills (1,396 feet), and on the east by the Clent and Lickey (Hagley) 
Hills. The Teme, which comes down from the Welsh hills, flows through a narrow 
valley, whilst the Avon irrigates the fertile vale of Evesham. The north-eastern 
portion of the county, beyond the Lickey Hills, is only in part drained by the 
Severn. Its soil, in many places, is poor and arid, but this is compensated for by 
the existence of rich beds of coal and ironstone. Worcestershire, besides cattle 
and dairy produce, yields fine wool, hops, apples, and excellent cider. There are 
coal, iron, and salt mines, and the manufactures are of considerable importance. 

If we follow the Severnas it crosses from Shropshire into Worcestershire, the 
first town we meet with is Bewdley, a quaint old place with many timbered houses, 
close to the fine scenery of the Forest of Wyre. Lower down is Stourport, at the 
mouth of the Stour, which exports the produce of Kidderminster and Stourbridge, 
higher up on that tributary of the Severn. Kidderminster, a dingy town, is 
famous for its carpet- weaving, whilst Stourbridge has glass manufactories, brick 
works, collieries, and tin-plate works. The making of glass was here first intro- 
duced in 1555. Resuming our journey down the Severn, we reach the mouth of 
the Salwarpe, in the narrow valley of which is situate the old town of Droittvich, 
known for its brine spring. Still lower on the same river, at Stoke Prior, there 
are mines of rock-salt, and a couple of miles beyond we reach JBromsgrove, a more 
important town than either of those named, and remarkable for its curious houses 
with ornamental gables. Nail-making and the manufacture of needles, fish-hooks, 
buttons, and coarse linens are here carried on. 

Worcester, although the capital of the county, yields to Dudley in population, 
but is infinitely superior to it in other respects. It is a place of the highest 
antiquity, and when the Romans established one of their stations there it had 
already attained some importance. Earthenware and other relics of the Roman 
dominion have been placed in a museum built within the walls of the ancient 
castle. In the Middle Ages Worcester played a leading part ; and during the 
Revolution, Cromwell, in 1651, inflicted a decisive defeat upon the Royalists in its 
neighbourhood. The cathedral, standing on rising ground, is the most conspicuous 
building in the city. It presents specimens of all styles of architecture, from the 
earliest Norman to the latest perpendicular. Its central tower, completed in 
1374, rises to a height of 192 feet. The town has lost its manufacture of carpets 
and woollen stuffs, now carried on at Kidderminster, but is famous for its 
leather gloves, its china, and potted lampreys. The Royal China Manufactory 
was opened in 1755. Recently erected engine works add to the prosperity of the 



WOECESTERSHIRE— WARWICKSHIRE. 105 

town, whicli also carries on a considerable commerce in agricultural produce. But 
in addition to being a town of business, Worcester enjoys a high reputation for its 
social amenities, and families in search of a pleasant retreat are attracted to it 
from all parts of England. 

Upton-on- Severn, below Worcester, owes its importance to its shipping, for the 
river is navigable to this place for vessels of 110 tons burden. 

To the west of it rise the Malvern Hills, famous fo^ their scenery, no less than 
for the salubrious spas known as Great Malvern, West Malvern, and Malvern 
Link, which have been established on their slopes. The springs to which 
Malvern owes its reputation are slightly sulphureous, and in no other part of 
England is hydrotherapic treatment carried on with the same success. Tenhury, 
a more retiring spa, lies in the valley of the Teme. Its water is supposed to 
be most effective in the cure of cutaneous diseases. 

Evesham is the principal town of Worcestershire within the fertile valley of 
the Avon. It boasts a famous old abbey with a fine bell tower, and, though now a 
quiet country place, has been the scene of some stirring events. On Greenhill, to 
the north of the town, was fought the battle (1265) in which Simon de Montfort, 
the champion of the barons and of constitutional government, ''fought stoutly 
for the liberties of England," but fell, overwhelmed by numbers. A miracu- 
lous well, still known as '* Battle Well," burst forth from the ground on the 
spot where Simon de Montfort expired, and for ages attracted pilgrims in 
search of relief from their ailments. On Vineyard Hill, on the other side of the 
Avon, the vine was cultivated from the time of the Conquest to the dissolution of 
the neighbouring abbey. Pershore, lower down on the Avon, has a famous old 
church with a handsome lantern tower of the fourteenth century, held to be not 
inferior to that of Lincoln Cathedral. 

In the north the " Black Country " of Staffordshire overlaps the borders of 
the county, and has given birth to several populous towns, the seats of coal mining 
and iron works. Foremost amongst these is Dudley, within a detached portion of 
the county. The castle, now in ruins, dates back to a time when Dudley was yet 
a quiet country town. The hill which it crowns has yielded large quantities of 
fossils, which have been deposited in the local museum. The Wenlock Canal 
is carried through it by means of a tunnel. Oldhury and Hales Oicen, one to 
the east and the other to the south of Dudley, are engaged in the same industries, 
nail-making playing a leading part. Hugh Miller is our authority for stating 
that the severe work in the iron-mines has in no respect been detrimental to the 
physical beauty of the inhabitants, which is most striking amongst the women, 
whilst the natives of the Malvern Hills, notwithstanding the salubrious aii 
they breathe, are homely in appearance, not to say ugly.* As to Balsall, it is in 
reality a part of Birmingham. The only other town to be noticed is Redditch, 
close to the eastern borders, where the manufacture of needles and fish-hooks 
is carried on. 

Warwickshire, one of the midland counties, lies almost wholly within the 

* Hugh Miller, " First Impressions of England and its People." 
104— K 



106 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

basin of the Avon, only a small section of its extreme northern part being drained 
by the Tame and other small rivers flowing northward to the Trent. The surface 
is varied only by gentle undulations. Formerly nearly the whole of the county 
was an extensive forest, and it still retains somewhat of this ancient character, small 
patches of woodland and heath being by no means infrequent. The Avon is the 
only navigable river, but canals and railways afford ready means of intercommuni- 
cation. Coal is found in the north, and as a manufacturing county Warwickshire 
takes a high rank, for within its borders lies Birmingham, the centre of a huge 
industrial district. 

The Avon, the principal eastern affluent of the Severn, rises nearer to the 
German Ocean than to the Bristol Channel. Its springs lie in Northamptonshire, 
near Naseby Hill, rendered famous by the defeat of the Royalists in 1645. The 
first town in Warwickshire which is reflected in its waters is Rughy, celebrated 
for its grammar school, founded in 1567. The original endowment of this public 
school consisted of 8 acres of land, near the city of London, yielding an annual 
income of £8. In course of time these have become covered with houses, and 
produce now an annual revenue exceeding £6,000. The school occupies a fine 
Gothic building, and is attended by five hundred pupils. 

Warwick, the capital of the county, occupies a central position. It has 

played a great part in the history of the English people. Its castle, on a hill 

washed by the waters of the Avon, and seated in the midst of a fine park, was one 

of the most magnificent and extensive castles of the Middle Ages, and much of its 

pristine beauty still survives. In 1871 a fire threatened destruction to this seat of 

Warwick the King-maker, but the damage sustained has been repaired, and the 

costly paintings and other treasures of art were fortunately saved. Foremost 

amongst these is the celebrated Warwick Vase, recovered from the ruins of 

the Emperor Adrian's villa at Tivoli. " Caesar's Tower " is probably as old 

as the Conquest, but from Guy's Tower may be obtained a more magnificent view. 

Looking northward, we catch a glimpse of another castle, almost equally famous, 

namely, Kenilworth, where Dudley, Earl of Leicester, entertained Queen Elizabeth 

for seventeen days (1575). Cromwell caused this stronghold to be dismantled, 

and its extensive and picturesque ruins now form one of the great attractions 

of the visitors to the neighbouring spa of Leamington. In 1811 this favourite 

resort of invalids and pleasure- seekers was a humble and obscure village of five 

hundred inhabitants. Since then the fame of its sulphureous, saline, and chalybeate 

springs has gone on increasing, and with it the number of residents and visitors, and 

now this new town far exceeds in population its venerable neighbour Warwick, 

from which it is still separated by the Avon, here joined by the Leam, but which 

its new streets are rapidly approaching. 

Only a few miles below Warwick we reach another town rich in historical 
associations. This is Stratford- on- Avon, the birthplace of Shakspere, The 
house in which the poet lived, and was probably born, still exists, and there are 
few monuments held in higher veneration than this humble dwelling, now 
converted into a museum. The last descendant of the family, having become 



WAEWICKSHIRE. 



107 



impoverislied, was compelled to leave it about the commencement of this century. 
The great dramatist lies buried in the parish church, and a monument was raised 
in his honour by Grarrick, the actor. A small theatre has been recently erected in 
celebration of the third centenary of his birth, and contains a Shakspere library, 
together with works of art relating to the poet. The environs of the town abound 
in sites and villages referred to in Shakspere's plays and ballads, and there even 



Fig. 57. — Wakwick and Leamington. 




1-35 



Wof G 



r30- 



2 Miles. 



survive a few patches of the extensive forests in which he used to poach when a 
youth. 

The Arrow joins the Avon shortly before the river crosses the border of 
Worcestershire. In its valley lie Alcester, the Roman Alauna, with many quaint 
old houses, and Studley, with the ruins of an abbey. Needles and fish-hooks are 
manufactured in both these towns. Henley-in-Arden, a small market town, 
occupies almost the centre of the ancient Forest of Arden, between Studley and 
Warwick. 



108 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Coventry, on the Sherbourne, a small tributary of the Avon, is far more 
populous than either of the towns mentioned. Its name recalls the ancient 
convent around which the first houses were built. Originally Coventry was a 
place of processions and pilgrimages, and legends and popular sayings testify to 
the reputation which it enjoyed during the Middle Ages. Best known amongst 
these legends is that of Lady Godiva, the wife of Leofric, and -Peeping Tom." 
St. Michael's Church, with a steeple 303 feet in height, is one of the finest Gothic 
edifices in the country. Formerly Coventry was noted for its cloth, but for its 



Fig. 58.— Stratfohd-on-Avon. 
Scale 1 : 88,400. 




2 Miles. 



present prosperity it is mainly dependent upon the manufacture of ribbons, 
which was introduced by French refugees who settled there after the revocar 
tion of the Edict of Nantes. Foleshill and Bedivorth, higher up on the Sher- 
bourne, carry on the same branches of industry, besides which the latter has 
some collieries. Nuneaton, in the valley of the Anker, on the northern slope of 
the county, engages largely in cotton-spinning, whilst its neighbour Atherstone, 
in the same valley, in addition to collieries, carries on the manufacture of hats 
and caps. 



WARWICKSHIRE. 



109 



Birmingham^ the largest town of Warwickshire, does not lie within the basin 
pf the Severn, for it is built upon the undulating ground extending on both sides 
of the river Rea, a tributary of the Tame, which discharges its waters through 
the Humber into the German Ocean. In Doomsday Book the city is called 
Bermingeham. This afterwards became corrupted into Bromwycham, or Brum- 
magem, meaning the "town of brooms," but popularly associated with pinch- 
beck and base metals fraudulently used to make articles glitter like gold. 
Birmingham is an ancient seat of the iron industry, and in 1643, having 
taken the side of the Parliament, it supplied swords and other weapons which 
did good service against the lancers of Prince Rupert. The commercial importance 



Fis- o9. — Shakspere's House. 




of the town dates, however, only from the restoration of Charles II., who brought 
metal ornaments into fashion, and these Birmingham supplied with unexampled 
vigour. From being the " toy-shop of Europe " of Burke's time, it has grown into 
a town pre-eminent for every description of metal-ware, from steam-engines to steel 
pens and jewellery. Its industry is not exclusively carried on in huge factories, 
but employs a multitude of artisans working at home, or in small shops, and 
they have thus retained a spirit of initiation and independence not usually 
found to exist in manufacturing towns. The leading articles made at Bir- 
mingham are hardware, unequalled for variety and value ; tools, small arms, 
nails, pins, steel pens, buttons, jewellery, electro-plated ware, glass, bronzes, 



110 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



papier-mache goods, and carriages. Near Bandsworth, a little to the west of 
Birminghain,within the Staffordshire border, are the famous Soho and Smethwick 
works, founded by Watt and Boulton, where steam-engines were first made. The 
manufacture of "toys" is still vigorously carried on, the most curious of this 
class of goods being Chinese idols and African fetishes. 

The lower part of Birmingham is crowded with workshops, and grimy, but 
the upper has regular streets, and the suburbs, including Edgbaston and Aston 
Manor, abound in elegant villas and stately residences. Birmingham boasts now 



Fig. 60. — Birmingham. 
Scale 1 : 200.000, 




2 Miles. 



of being the most " radical " town of the kingdom, and of having the largest 
number of public institutions supported by voluntary contributions ; yet it was 
here that the mob denounced the distinguished Dr. Priestley as an atheist and 
Jacobin (1791), and destroyed his house, library, and apparatus. Amends for 
this outrage have been made by the erection of a statue of the great chemist and 
discoverer of oxygen, which occupies a site in front of the municipal buildings. 
Most prominent amongst the public edifices of the town is its Town-hall, in which 
the celebrated triennial musical festivals are held, and which contains a fine 
marble bust of Mendelssohn, who produced here, in 1847, his oratorio Elijah 



GLOUCESTERSHIEE. 



Ill 



Its shape is that of a Grecian temple, and it was built 1832 — 35. The Birmingham 
and Midland Institute adjoins it, and accommodates a school of science and art, 
a museum, and a free library. King Edward's Grammar School, founded in 1533, 
occupies a Gothic building of modern date. Other educational institutions 
are Queen's College, founded in 1843, in connection with London University, 
and the Science College, endowed by Joshua Mason in 1872. St. Martin's Church, 
in the Bull Ring, contains a few ancient monuments, and portions of it date back 
to the thirteenth century. All other churches are modern. Bingley Hall, a 



Fig. 61. — The Severn below Gloucester, and the Berkeley Ship Canal. 
Scale 1 : 200,000. 




2*20 



W.oP&r 



2 Miles. 



vast structure with no claims to architectural beauty, is used for cattle and poultry 
shows, and as a drill-place for the volunteers. Aston Hall, an edifice in the 
Elizabethan style, where Charles I. was entertained before the battle of Edge 
Hill, is now a museum, and the surrounding park has been thrown open to the 
public. Still farther north, about 4 miles from the town, is the fine park of 
Sutton Coldfield. 

Gloucestershire lies for the greater part within the basin of the Severn, and 
extends on both sides of the estuary of that river, in the west as far as the "Wye, 



112 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



in the east to the mouth of the Bristol Avon. Physically the county includes 
three well-marked regions, the principal being the fertile lowland intersected by 
the Severn, and known as the Yale of Gloucester and Berkeley. In it is gathered 
the bulk of the population of the county, and tillage and dairy-farming are practised 
with great success. The most valuable meadow lands extend along the banks 
of the Severn below Gloucester, and are defended from inundation by sea-walls. 
The environs of Berkeley are more especially famous for their cheese. The vale 
is remarkable for the mildness of its climate, and William of Malmesbury tells us 
that in the twelfth century it produced wine but little inferior to that of France. 
The forest district lies to the west of the Severn, its great feature being the 
Royal Forest of Dean, now much reduced by the progress of cultivation, but still 
of great extent. It is rich in coal and iron, and famous for its cider, or " styre." 

Fig. 62.— Gloucester Cathkukal. 




The third region is that of the Cotswolds, to the east of the Severn, where 
the air is keen and sharp, the soil thin, and the population sparse, but which 
nevertheless abounds in good pasturage for sheep. 

Gloucestershire carries on numerous industries, the manufacture of superior 
cloth being the chief amongst them. 

Immediately after we cross the borders of Shropshire we find ourselves within 
sight of the old town of Teivkesbury, with its quaint houses and extensive abbey 
church, recently renovated. About half a mile to the south of the town lies the 
" Bloody Meadow," upon which was fought, in 1471, the last battle in the War of 
the Roses. 

Gloucester, the capital of the county, the Glevum of the Romans, is an ancient 
city. The tower of its superb cathedral rises to a height of 223 feet, and there 
are other buildings interesting to the antiquary, the most remarkable being the 



GLOUCESTERSHIRE. 



118 



New Inn, an old house for poor pilgrims, built of chestnut-wood. The town 
carries on a considerable trade in agricultural produce, for it lies in the centre of 
one of the most productive districts of England. By means of the Berkeley 
Ship Canal, which enters the estuary of the Severn 16 miles below it at Sharp- 
ness, vessels of 400 tons burden can reach its docks. The manufacture of 
agricultural machinery is extensively carried on. Gloucester has a mineral spring 
in its spa grounds, now converted into a public park, but is completely 

Fig. 63. -The Cloisters, Gloccester Cathedral. 




overshadowed as a watering-place by its more attractive neighbour Cheltenham 
This favourite place of retreat of Anglo-Indians lies at the foot of the Cotswold 
Hills, and on the margin of the vale of Gloucester. It is renowned for its mild 
and salubrious air, its delightful environs, and its chalybeate springs, reputed 
as an effective remedy in a variety of diseases. Fine promenades, assembly- 
rooms, and a pump-room add to the amenities of a place which boasts of having 
a lower death rate than any other town in England. But, besides being a 
fashionable watering-place, Cheltenham has become an educational centre, whose 



114 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



proprietary colleges, both for boys and girls, take a high rank, and are supplemented 
by numerous private schools. 

Stroud, to the south of Gloucester, in a valley of the Cotswolds, is one of the 
principal seats of the clothing trade of the county, an industry which employs 
likewise many of the inhabitants of the small towns of Bisley and Minchin- 
hampton, the one to the east, the other to the south-east of it. At Lypiatt Park, 
an old monastic establishment, half-way on the road to Bisley, the Gunpowder 
Plot is said to have been concocted. 

Berkeley, in the centre of a fertile grazing country, exports real Gloucester 
cheese. Its castle, with a keep erected in 1093, is still inhabited, and the dungeon 

Fig. 64. — Cheltenham. 
Scale 1 : 175,000. 




2 Miles. 



over the gatehouse, in which King Edward II. was murdered in 1327, is 
pointed out to curious visitors. Dursley and JFotton-under-Udge, both prettily 
situated towns on the slope of the Cotswolds, to the south-east of Berkeley, are 
engaged in the clothing trade. Near Dursley there are valuable quarries of Bath 
stone, which hardens on exposure to the air, but is not very durable. Tetbury, 
still farther to the east, on an eminence overlooking the source of the Avon, is 
famous for its corn market. Of the many towns in the valley of the Avon, Malmes- 
bury, Chippenham, Melksham, and Bradford belong to the county of Wiltshire, 
and Bath lies within Somersetshire; but Bristol, the most important of all, only 
7 miles above the mouth of the river, is situated almost wholly within the borders 
of Gloucestershire. 



GLOUCESTERSHIRE. 115 

Bristol is one of the busiest cities of the United Kingdom. In the fourteenth 
century it hardly yielded in importance to the capital, for when Edward III. 
appealed to the maritime towns of his kingdom to furnish vessels for the invest- 
ment of Calais, Bristol was called upon to fit out twenty-four, or only one less than 
London. In the age of great discoveries it was from the Avon that most vessels 
sailed in search of new countries and a north-west passage. It was Bristol which 
sent forth the Mathias in 1497, under the command of John Cabot, a citizen 
of Venice, but a Genoese by birth ; * and Bristol may thus claim the honour of 
having sent out an explorer of a portion of North America, probably Labrador, 
fourteen months before Columbus himself had touched the New World. f In 
our own century it was again Bristol which was first amongst the maritime towns 
of Europe to send a steamer across the Atlantic to America, for in 1838 the Great 
Western, commanded by Captain Hosken, started from the Avon, and reached New 
York without an accident. Yet it is not Bristol which has reaped the advantages 
which accrued from the spirit of enterprise animating its shipowners, for 
Liverpool has become the great port of departure for trans- Atlantic steamers. The 
relative decay of Bristol, however, had commenced more than a century before 
that time, and if Liverpool rapidly overtook her rival, this was not done without 
the citizens themselves being largely to blame. In the enjoyment of almost 
unlimited privileges, they prevented strangers from settling in the town unless 
they submitted to numerous disabilities which deprived them of every initiative. 
It was thus that the advantages which Bristol enjoyed in consequence of its 
geographical position and the relations established with foreign countries were 
gradually lost to it.+ 

Bristol nevertheless continues to this day one of the busiest seaports of 
England. The Avon, a narrow tidal river bounded by steep cliffs, enables the 
largest vessels to reach the docks of the town, whose locks are closed as soon as 
the tide begins to retire. These docks were excavated in the beginning of the 
present century, and occupy the ancient bed of the Avon, as well as the lower part 
of the Frome, which joins that river close by the cathedral. Although some 
3 miles in length, this '' harbour " hardly suffices for the accommodation of the 
vessels which crowd it, and sea-docks have consequently been constructed at the 
mouth of the river, at Avonmouth, and opened in 1876. The trade of the place 
has always been connected with the West Indies and the North American colonies. 
Whilst the West Indies were cultivated by slaves, and Virginia partly by trans- 
ported criminals, the wealth generated in Bristol by intercourse between them 
produced, on the one hand, an upper class peculiarly haughty and unsympathetic, and 
on the other a mob exceptionally rough and violent. In the seventeenth century, 
Mr. Bancroft tells us, the Bristol authorities used to make large profits by selling 
criminals as slaves to Virginia, inducing them to consent by threatening them 
with death. In our own days, the "Reform riots" of 1831, which laid much of the 

* D'Avezac, Bulletiti de la Societe de Geographie. 

t Peschel, "Zeitalter der Entdeckungen." 

X Halley, "Atlas Maritimus et Commercifilis." 



116 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



city in ashes, bear witness to the roughness of the Bristol mob.* The imports 
include tobacco and raw sugar from the West and East Indies and America, 
timber from Norway and Canada, corn from Russia, spirits, and wine. The exports 
consist principally of the manufactures of the town, such as refined sugar, tobacco 
and cigars, metal- ware, soap, oil-cloth, machinery, and glass ; for though Bristol 
does not hold the first place in any single branch of manufacturing industry, it is 
at all events distinguished for the variety of its productions. The coal seams 
which underlie the basin of the Avon are not very thick, but they supply the manu- 
factories of the town with excellent fuel. The manufacture of cloth, introduced by 
Flemish weavers in the reign of Edward III., is no longer carried on by Bristol, 
but has been transferred to the Gloucestershire towns to the north-east of it. 

Fig. 65. — Bristol and Bath. 
Scale 1 : 230,000. 




W c&r 2*20 



,2 Miles. 



Bristol proper rises on hilly ground to the north of the Avon, and, like Rome, 
is supposed to have been built upon seven hills. The suburbs, however, spread far 
beyond the ancient limits of the city. Bedminster, to the south, in the county of 
Somerset, now forms part of it ; villas are scattered over the heights which separate 
it from E^orbury and Wesfbury-on-Trpm, in the north; whilst in the west it has 
coalesced with Clifton, which in the last century was a pretty village where the 
merchants of Bristol sought repose from their labours. The airy heights which 
were at that time dotted over with a few detached villas are now covered with orna- 
mental buildings and rows of terraces, stretching round Durdham Downs, and 
crowning the bold cliffs which here bound the narrow gorge of the Avon. Since 
1864 this gorge has been spanned by a suspension bridge, at a height of 287 feet 
* Moberley, " Geography of Northern Europe." 



GLOUCESTERSHIRE— HEREFOEDSHIEE. 



117 



Fig. 66. — Clifton Suspension Bkidgb. 



from low water. This bridge, the numerous villas of Clifton, and their shrubberies, 
together with the venerable cathedral, the chaste Gothic church of St. Mary 
Kedcliffe, and the lofty square tower of St. Stephen's, built in 1472, constitute the 
principal attractions of the town. The Bristol Museum and several country seats 
in the vicinity, including Leigh Court and Blaise Castle, are rich in works of art. 
Amongst the famous men born in Bristol are William Penn, South ey the poet, 
Thomas Lawrence the painter, and Chatterton. Bristol also disputes with Venice 
the honour of being the birthplace of Sebastian Cabot. 

There are no towns of importance in the hill district of Gloucestershire, to the 
west of the Severn. Newent^ a market town 9 miles north-west of Gloucester, 
has collieries, and a church with a lofty spire. TFestburp-on-Severn is interest- 
, ing to geologists on account of the fish and bone beds of its garden clifi*. 
Newnham, on a hill below Westbury, exports the coal raised in its vicinity 
and at 3Iitcheldean, in the interior. Half-way between these two places we pass the 
ruins of the ancient abbey of Flaxley, whose foundation dates back to the twelfth 
century. Lydneyy lower down on the 
Severn, has iron and tin-plate works, and 
is a coal shipping port. We are now within 
the manufacturing and mining districts 
of the ancient Forest of Dean, nearly all 
the towns and villages of which lie nearer 
to the bank of the picturesque Wye, which 
bounds the county on the west, than to 
that of the Severn. 8t. Briavels, the 
ancient capital of the forest, has a castle 
of the thirteenth century, in which the 
Lord Warden of the forest used to reside. 
Newland and Co/eford are the principal 
mining towns of the forest. The Buck- 
stone, a famous rocking-stone on a hill'-slope overlooking the valley of the Wye, 
stands near the former of these towns. 

Cirencester is the principal town in that part of the county which is drained 
into the Thames. It is a place of great antiquity, the Corinium of the Romans, 
and its museum contains numerous Roman antiquities found in the neighbourhood. 
Cirencester carries on a large trade in wool and corn. Near it stands the Royal 
Agricultural College. Lechlade, near the confluence of the Colne and Lech with 
the Thames, and at the eastern termination of the Thames and Severn Canal, is a 
place of some traffic, but the other market towns in the north-eastern portion of the 
county enjoy only local importance. The chief amongst them are Northleach^ 
Winchcombe, Chipping Campdcn, and Stoiv-on-the-Wold. 

Herefordshire, an inland county, has a surface beautifully diversified by 
hills, and set off" to the greatest advantage by luxuriant woods. The Wye inter- 
sects it from the north-west to the south-east, and is joined about the centre of the 
county by the Lugg, draining its northern half. Agriculture and cattle-breeding 




118 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



are almost the sole occupations, and the county is noted for its wool, its cider, and 

its hops. 

Eereford, the county town, occupies a central position on the river Wye, and 
is one of the ancient " gateways " of Wales, formerly strongly fortified. Five 
railways converge upon it, and its trade in corn, timber, and hops is very con- 
siderable. The cathedral, founded in the eleventh century, and restored by Sir 
G-. Scott, is one of the most interesting buildings of that kind in England, 
exhibiting various styles of architecture, from Norman to decorated work. To 
geographers more especially it is interesting, for in its chapter library is preserved 
one of the most valuable maps of the world which have come to us from the 
Middle Ages. M. d'Avezac, who has carefully studied this curious document, 
which transports monkeys to Norway, scorpions to the banks of the Rhine, and 
aurochs to Provence, believes that it originated in 1314, or at all events between 

Fig. 67. — Hereford Cathedral. 




1313 and 1320. Hereford has not only played a part in the history of science, 
but it was likewise the birthplace of Garrick, and there Mrs. Siddons and Kemble 
commenced their dramatic career. 

Lugwardine, a village to the east of Hereford, near the mouth of the Lugg, 
has a pottery and tile works. Ascending the Lugg, we reach Leominster, a 
town very important during the Heptarchy, with a fine old church, the remains 
of a priory, and several timbered houses. Leather gloves and coarse woollen stuff's 
are made here. Kington is a market town on the Arrow, which joins the Lugg 
from the west, whilst Bromyard is the principal town in the valley of the Frome, 
the eastern tributary of the Lugg. 

Ross, on the Wye below Hereford, is a picturesque town much frequented by 
tourists, and well known as the birthplace of John Kyrle, Pope's "Man of Ross," 
who was buried in the parish church in 1724. 



SOMERSETSHIRE. 119 

A small portion of the east of the county is drained by the Leddon, which 
flows into the Severn at Gloucester. Ledbury is the chief town on its banks, 
and Eastnor Castle, near it, contains a valuable collection of paintings. 

Somersetshire is a maritime county, bounded on the north and north-west 
by the Bristol Channel, and drained by the Avon (which divides it from 
Gloucestershire), the Axe, Brue, and Parret. An oolitic upland of irregular 
configuration separates the county from Dorset and Wiltshire, and coalesces near 
Bath with the Cotswold Hills. Two spurs jut dut from this elevated tract 
towards the Bristol Channel, forming the Mendip and Polden Hills. The former 
are composed of mountain limestone and Devonian sandstone, have steep sides 
and flat tops, and contain veins of lead and copper, now nearly exhausted. 
They separate the valley of the Avon, a portion of which is occupied by the 
Bristol coal bed, from the low marshes intersected by the river Brue. This 
" Brue Level " contains peat, but parts of it are of exceeding fertility, and dairy- 
farming is successfully carried on in it. The Polden Hills separate this lowland 
from the more diversified valley of the Parret, which is rich in pasture-grounds, 
and yields an abundance of butter and cheese. 

The western portion of the county is covered for the most part with wild and 
barren hills, abounding in bogs and moorland ; but these are intersected by the 
rich and picturesque valley of Taunton Deane, one of the most fruitful districts of 
England. On the norfh this " vale " is sheltered by the Quantock Hills (1,270 feet 
high), the Brendon Hills, and Exmoor (Dunkerry Beacon, 1,706 feet), which 
separate it from the Bristol Channel ; on the south the Blackdown Hills, crowned 
by a monument erected in honour of the Duke of Wellington, divide it from 
Devonshire. 

Somersetshire has woollen, silk, and other factories : coal and a little iron ore 
are raised, but the wealth of the county is principally produced by agriculture, 
dairy-farming, and the rearing of cattle and sheep. Cheddar cheese is one of the 
most highly appreciated of its productions. 

Bath, the largest town of Somersetshire, but not its county town, is situated in the 
beautiful valley of the Avon, and on the hills surrounding it, only a short distance 
below the gorge which the river runs through on its course to the plain. The fine 
abbey church, the pump-rooms, the baths, and the business part of the city occupy 
the valley, whilst on the hill-slopes terraces and crescents of handsome houses rise 
tier above tier. We perceive at once that we have entered one of those watering- 
places where the number of pleasure- seekers is greater than that of the invalids. 
As early as the time of the Romans these Aquce Sulis were much frequented, and 
carved stones, showing Minerva in association with the British divinity Sulis, have 
been discovered. But Bath is no longer the " Queen of all the Spas in the World," 
to which position the genius of two men. Wood, the architect, and " Beau " Nash, the 
master of ceremonies, had raised it in the eighteenth century. The monumental 
buildings of that age have a forsaken look, and fashionable crowds no longer file 
through their colonnades and the grounds which surround them. Cheltenham, 
Malvern, and the seaside towns exercise a stronger attraction upon wealthy 



120 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

bathers, and now Bath has become a place of residence for retired men of 
business in the enjoyment of a moderate competency. The cloth trade, for- 
merly of very considerable importance, exists no longer, and though " Bath " 
paper still enjoys a high reputation, most of that consumed even in the town of 
its reputed manufacture is forwarded from London. Parry, the arctic navigator, 
is the most famous amongst the children of Bath, and down to the present day 
his achievements can hardly be said to have been eclipsed. Herschel, the famous 
astronomer, resided for a considerable time at Bath, earning his living as a 
musician, and it was there he began his career as a man of science. 

Tiverton, near Bath, carries on cloth and carpet weaving, whilst Keynsham, lower 
down on the Avon, has brass works and lias clay diggings. The principal coal mines 
of the county are near Radstock and Midsomer Norton, to the south of Bath, and 
Long Ashton and Nailsea, to the south-west of Bristol. Nailsea, in addition, 
carries on the manufacture of glass, and Ashton that of iron. But the principal 
manufacturing town of the northern part of Somersetshire is Frome, on a tributary 
of the Avon, and not far from the Wiltshire border. Its neighbourhood abounds 
in cloth-mills, and there are also a card factory and several breweries. Portishead, 
Clevedon, and Weston-super-Mare are watering-places, and the latter, since the 
beginning of the century, has grown from a small fishing village into a town of 
considerable importance. Seated upon a capacious bay, with an outlook upon the 
fortified islands at the mouth of the estuary of the SevS^n, facing the coast of 
Wales, sheltered by the wooded scarps of Worle Hill (540 feet), and backed by a 
fruitful country abounding in picturesque scenery, it enjoys peculiar advantages. 
The sprat fishery is still carried on here from October to Christmas, as in days 
of yore. 

Several interesting old towns are seated at the southern foot of the Mendip 
Hills. Axhridge is a very ancient little borough, with the population of a village. 
Cheddar is no less famous for its cheeses than for its cliffs and stalactite caverns. 
A lead mine is near it. Wells is a town almost purely ecclesiastical, its principal 
edifices being the cathedral, the bishop's palace, and dependent buildings. Brush 
and paper making are carried on. Near it, close to the. source of the Axe, which 
bursts forth here a considerable stream, is a famous cavern, the legendary haunt of 
the " Witch of Wookey." Shepton-Mallet carries on trade with timber, and brews 
an excellent ale. 

Glastonbury, the principal town on the river Brue, which enters the Bristol 
Channel below the small port of Highbridge, is best known for the ruins of its old 
abbey, the most remarkable portion of which is the " Abbot's Kitchen," a building 
reproduced at Oxford and in other towns. 

Bridgn-ater is the principal town on the Parret. It is situated 12 miles above 
the mouth of that river, on the borders of a marshy plain, carries on a brisk coast- 
ing trade, and is the only place in the world where the clay and sand deposited at 
some localities on the river-side are made into " Bath bricks." The most highly 
prized Art treasure of this town appears to be a painting of the '* Descent from the 
Cross," found on board a French privateer, and now suspended over the altar of 



SOMEESETSHIRE. 121 

the church of St. Mary Magdalen. Sedgemoor, where Monmouth was defeated 
in 1685, lies to the east of the town. Ascending the Parret, we reach Langporf, 
just below its confluence with the Isle and Yeo, or Ivel. The latter runs through 
a fertile valley, the chief towns of which are Ilchester, the Ischalis of the Romans, 
and the birthplace of Roger Bacon, and Yeovil, a picturesque old place, with a 
noble church, where gloves are largely made. The towns on the Upper Parret are 
South Petherton, near which are the famous Hamden or Hamhill quarries, and 
Crewherne^ with a handsome church and grammar school. Ilminster and Chard, 
both on the Isle, engage in lace-making. The latter is a handsome town, at the 
foot of the Blackdowns. 

Taunton, the county town, on the Tone, is a place of considerable antiquity, 
with one of the finest perpendicular churches in the country, and a grammar 
school, founded in 1522 by Bishop Fox. There are two silk factories, the manu- 
facture of silk having superseded that of wool since 1778, and a glove factory. 
The castle forms an object of considerable interest. Its hall, where Judge Jeffreys 
held his *' Bloody Assize," now affords accommodation to the museum of the 
Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society. Wellington, on the 
Upper Tone, and at the northern foot of the Blackdowns, still engages in the 
woollen trade. It has given a title to the Great Duke, in whose honour a stone 
obelisk has been raised on a neighbouring height. 

There remain to be noticed a few small towns on the coast of the Bristol 
Channel and to the west of the Parret. They are small in population, but 
interesting on account of their antiquity. Watchet exports the iron ore raised in 
the Brendon Hills. Near it are the ruins of Cleeve Abbey, founded in 1188 for 
Cistercian monks. Dunster has a famous old castle ; Minehead is a quiet watering- 
place ; and Porlock is a picturesque village at the foot of Dunkerry Beacon. 




105- 



CHAPTER V. 



1 


^^$ 



THE CHANNEL SLOPE. 
Dorsetshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Sussex. 

General Features. 

HE region which, to the east of the Cornish peninsula, slopes down 
to the Channel, is of considerable width only in its western portion, 
where the Avon of Salisbury rises on the chalk downs of Wilt- 
shire. Here its width is no less than 50 miles, but it narrows 
as we proceed eastwards. The rivers become rivulets, and, on 
reaching the neighbourhood of the Straits of Dover, there are merely combs down 
which the water runs on the surface only after heavy rains. This region, never- 
theless, is characterized by special features, due to its southern aspect, its deficiency 
in navigable rivers, and its geological formation. In the latter respect some 
portions of it bear a greater resemblance to France, from which it is now 
separated by the sea, than to the remainder of England, of which it actually 
forms part. The English Weald and the French Boulonnais, or country around 
Boulogne, are thus clearly the fragments of what was anciently a continuous tract 
of land, whose severance has been effected by the erosive action of the sea. 

The calcareous uplands which to the east of Devonshire form the watershed 
between the Bristol and English Channels are generally known as the Dorset 
Heights. They are of moderate elevation, none of the summits attaining a height 
of 1,000 feet, but form bold cliffs along the coast. To geologists they have proved 
a fertile field of exploration, for they exhibit very clearly the superposition of 
various strata. The quarries of Lyme Regis have more especially acquired 
celebrity on account of the ichthyosaurians and other gigantic reptiles of liassic 
age which they have yielded. They are well known likewise to agriculturists, 
for the coprolite, or fossilised guano, in which they abound contains a large 
quantity of phosphoric acid, and furnishes a most powerful fertiliser. 

The liassic rocks of Lyme Regis are succeeded in the east by oolite cliffs, which 
terminate in the Bill of Portland, right out in the open sea. The so-called Isle 
of Portland is in reality a peninsula rising superbly above a submarine plateau, 



THE CHANNEL SLOPE. 



123 



where conflicting tides render navigation dangerous, and attached to the main- 
land by a narrow strip of beach. Eooted to the base of the clifi" crowned by 
Burton Castle, this beach extends along the coast, growing wider by degrees as 
we follow it to the south-eastward, and forming a gentle curve, the con- 
cave side of which is turned towards the sea. It is known as Chesil or 



Fig. 68.— Portland. 
Scale 1 : 225,000. 




2°30- 



2-20' 



W.oFGr. 



Foresiiore. 







Miles. 



"Pebble" Bank, and hides all the irregularities of the inner coast-line. The 
old inlets and creeks in its rear have gradually been converted into swamps, or 
silted up by the alluvium washed into them by the rivers, and only for a distance 
of 8 miles along the coast of Dorsetshire is it separated from the mainland by 
a narrow channel which debouches into Portland Roads, and is known as the 
Fleet. But it is not only this striking regularity of contour which distin- 



124 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

guishes this beach ; it is equally regular with respect to the arrangement of the 
materials of which it is composed. Its pebbles increase in size as we proceed 
from west to east. The sand in the west almost imperceptibly passes over into 
pebbles, and in the vicinity of the Isle of Portland these latter give place to 
shingle. The fishermen along the coast will inform you that when they land on a 
dark night on any part of the beach they can tell, from the size of the pebbles, at 
what spot they find themselves. The true explanation of the phenomenon is 
this : the tidal current runs strongest from west to east, and its power is greater in 
the more open channel, or farthest from the land, while the size of the fragments 
which are carried to the east and thrown ashore is largest where the motion of 
the water is most violent.* 

To geologists the Isle of Portland offers a peculiarly interesting field of 
research, for it is rich in dirt beds containing organic relics of marine origin, 
and still exhibits the fossilised remains of a forest which flourished on the 
emerged oolite rocks. It is probable that not a single one of these fossils will 
escape the notice of man, for few rocks are being more extensively utilised. 
The upper layers are being carried away to be converted into lime, whilst the 
lower beds supply a highly valued building stone, which has been largely used 
for some of the monumental edifices of London. In recent times most of the stone 
quarried on the ''island" has been employed in the construction of a breakwater 
planned towards the close of the last century, but only commenced in 1847, mainly 
with the view of opposing to the French Cherbourg an English Cherbourg of even 
greater strength. This prodigious breakwater is the largest work of the kind ever 
undertaken, for nearly 6,000,000 tons of stone have been sunk in the sea to protect 
against winds and waves an artificial harbour having an area of 2,107 acres, where 
the largest men-of-war find secure riding- ground. The first portion of the break- 
water runs from the shore due east for about 1,800 feet, and serves the inha- 
bitants of the island as a promenade. Then comes an opening of 400 feet, beyond 
which the main section stretches 6,000 feet in length, terminating in an ironclad 
fort armed with the heaviest guns. The summit of Yerne Hill (495 feet) is crowned 
by impregnable fortifications, armed with one hundred and fifty cannon, and this 
citadel, supported by numerous batteries, by a fort on Nothe Hill, near Weymouth, 
and by two ironclad forts on the breakwater itself, amply provides for the security 
of the harbour. Breakwaters and forts alike have been constructed by convicts, and 
this colossal work of modern England, like similar undertakings of ancient Egypt 
and Rome, has thus been accomplished by the hands of slaves. f 

But though man may modify the aspects of nature by converting an open 
bay into a secure harbour, what are his feeble efforts of a day in comparison with 
the slow, but incessant erosive action of a single geological period ? Beyond the 
island of Portland and the oolitic rocks of the littoral region, the cretaceous 
formation extends uninterruptedly as far as Salisbury Plain. That ''plain" 

♦ Lyell, " Principles of Geology." Prestwich, at the Institution of Civil Engineers, February 2nd, 
1875. Kinahan, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, February 1st, 1877. 

t The work occupied about a thousand convicts between 1847 and 1872, and cost £1,043,000. 



THE CHANNEL SLOPE. 125 

is in reality a chalky table-land, rising now and then into gently swelling 
hills, and intersected by narrow and picturesque valleys. In its general features 
this tract of country presents an appearance of uniformity and repose, and 
we might almost fancy that for ages it had undergone no change. But 
geologists have here discovered the remnants of enormous strata, which have 
been gradually dissolved by water, and transported seaward. Extensive tracts 
of chalk are covered with a layer of pebbles more than a yard in depth, and these 
pebbles are all that remains of tbick strata ofcalcarebus rocks, the soluble portions 
of which have been washed away.* Elsewhere the ground is covered with 
scattered rocks, fragments of eocene hills destroyed through long-continued erosive 
action. These rocks, on account of their colour and appearance when seen from 
afar, are usually known as " grey wethers," but sometimes they are improperly 
described as "Druids' stones," because they furnished the material employed 
in the construction of Stonehenge. Towards the middle of the century these 
scattered rocks and the monuments raised by the aboriginal inhabitants were the 
only objects which, away from the towns and villages, contrasted with the uniform 
verdure of the pastures. Recently, however, this ''plain," which was formerly 
roamed over only by sheep, has been invaded on all sides by the plough, and a 
considerable portion of it is now under tillage. 

The zone of cretaceous rocks, of which the plain of Salisbury forms a part, 
bounds in the north a basin occupied by eocene formations, which stretches for 60 
miles along the English Channel. Anciently this basin extended far beyond the 
actual line of coast. The whole of the northern portion of the Isle of Wight was 
included in it. The Celtic name of that island, Giiith, is supposed to mean 
" severed," and an examination of its coast-line shows very clearly that it originally 
formed part of the mainland. The coasts of the island run nearly parallel to 
those of the mainland from which it has been cut off. The strait of the Solent 
on the west, and that of Spithead on the east, are bounded by coasts having 
the same inflections, and the Isle of Wight almost looks as if it were a fragment 
detacbed from England, and bodily shifted to the south. But though the eocene 
rocks to the north of the island have disappeared, and their place has been 
invaded by the sea, the cretaceous rocks which form its spine, and anciently 
extended to the cliffs of Purbeck, have offered a stouter resistance to erosive 
action. In the interior of the island they have been dissolved in many places 
by running water, and wide gaps resembling breaches in a rampart open between 
the hills, but the extremities of the rhomboid terminate abruptly in cliffs. 
The western promontory rises almost vertically to a height of 450 feet, and off 
it there stand above the glaucous waters of the sea, not unlike a flotilla of 
vessels under sail, a few masses of detached chalk, known as the *' Needles." 
These rocks are exposed to the full fury of the gales, and from time to time they 
yield to the pressure and are broken into fragments. A remarkable case of this 
kind occurred during a violent storm in 1764, when a rock known as " Lot's 
Wife" disappeared beneath the foaming waves. In geological structure these 
* Eamsay, "Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain." 



126 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



superb rocks resemble the cliffs of Purbeck, about 15 miles due west of tbem. 
Their image impresses itself firmly on the minds of many emigrants, and thousands 
amongst them, when these objects vanish from their sight, have looked upon Europe 
for the last time in their lives. The southern portion of the Isle of Wight is one 
of the most picturesque districts in England. St. Catherine's Down, the most 
elevated summit of the island, rises near its southern angle to a height of 830 
feet, and commands an immense horizon, extending from Portland Bill to Beachy 
Head, and sometimes even beyond the Channel with its numerous ships, to the 

Fig. 69.— The Isle op Wight. 
Scale 1 : 420,000. 




Depth under 5 Fathoms. 5 to 10 Fathoms. 



10 to 20 Fathoms. 



Over 20 Fathoms. 



5 Miles. 



hazy promontories of Cotentin, in France. To the east of this angular landmark 
the coast sinks abruptly, but along its foot there extends a singular strip, or 
terrace, of considerable width, which has fallen down from the upper part of the 
cliff, and is hence known as the TJndercliff. This tract is perfectly sheltered from 
northerly winds ; myrtles, geraniums, and other delicate plants flourish there 
throughout the winter ; and Yentnor and other places of less note afford accom- 
modation to invalids whose state of health requires a milder climate than is to be 
found in other parts of England.* The nature of the soil sufficiently accounts 
for the existence of this TJndercliff. The subjacent beds, consisting of sand 
* James Thome, " The Land we Live in." 



THE CHANNEL SLOPE. 127 

and clay, were undermined by tlie action of the rain, and the superincumbent 
masses of rock were precipitated upon the beach below, where they now act as a 
kind of embankment protecting the remaining cliff from the attacks of the sea. 
Some of these landslips occurred almost in our own time. In 1799 a farm, with 
about 100 acres of the surrounding land, slid down upon the beach, and more 
recently still, in 1810 and 1818, other cliffs broke away in a similar manner. The 
narrow ravines worn into the rocks by running water are locally known as *' chines." 
Formerly they could only be explored with great diffichlty, but steps and easy paths 
have been made to facilitate the progress of visitors in search of fine scenery. 

The Isle of Wight, though scarcely more than half the size of Anglesey,* has 
played a more considerable part in the modern history of England. Unlike the 
Welsh island, it is not joined by bridges to the mainland, the dividing channel 
being too wide and too deep.f A tunnel, about 4 miles in length, has, however, 
been projected, and some preliminary surveys, with a view to its construction, 
have actually been made. But though the channel which separates the island from 
the mainland cannot yet be crossed dry shod, like Menai Strait, there are few locali- 
ties more crowded with shipping. It forms a vast roadstead, fairly sheltered from 
most winds, and ramifies northward into the interior of Hampshire. This northern 
extension of the road of Spithead is known as Southampton Water, from the 
great outport of London which rises near its extremity, and which is exceptionally 
favoured by the tide ; for whilst one tidal wave penetrates it through the 
Solent, another arrives soon after through the channel of Spithead, sustaining the 
first, and extending the time of high water. But the commercial town of South- 
ampton is not the only place that has profited by the excellent shelter afforded by 
the Isle of Wight; the advantages of the position are also shared by the naval 
station of Portsmouth. This great stronghold has been constructed on the flat 
island of Portsea, at the entrance to the waters of Spithead. 

The road of Spithead, Southampton Water, and the towns which have arisen 
upon them, render this portion of the English sea-coast of considerable importance, 
and jointly with the beauty of the scenery and the mild climate, they have 
attracted to it a large business or pleasure- seeking population. Nevertheless, a 
wide tract of country, stretching from Southampton Water westward to the Avon 
of Salisbury, is still occupied by a deer forest, and very sparsely peopled. This 
"New Forest" covers an area of 60,000 acres, and if ancient chronicles can be 
believed, it was planted by William the Conqueror, as a wild-boar and deer 
preserve and hunting ground. He is stated to have destroyed twenty villages, 
turning out the inhabitants and laying waste their fields. But owing to the 
poor nature of the gravel and sand of this tract, it is not likely that it was ever 
worth tilling. Eight hundred years ago there may have been more clearings 
and groups of houses, but we may well doubt whether so ungrateful a soil can 
ever have been extensively cultivated. + 

* Anglesey, 302 square miles ; Isle of Wight, 155 square miles. 

t Least width, 9,200 feet; depth at the mouth of the Solent, 72 feet. 

X Eamsay, " Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain." 



128 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



To the east of the flat islands of Portsea and Hayling, and of the low peninsula 
terminating in Selsey Bill, the coast gradually approaches the range of cretaceous 
hills known as the South Downs. Beyond Brighton clifis once more bound the 
encroaching sea, until the downs terminate abruptly in the bold promontory of 
Beachy Head. The short and savory herbage of the South Downs feeds a race of 

Fig. 70. — Portsmouth. 
From an Admiralty Chart. 







5^ 



$tmi'k$«a' £ait^ 




sheep highly appreciated for their mutton. Now these downs only present' us with 
scenes of rural peace, but, to judge from the fortifications which crown nearly every 
point of vantage, there must have been a time when the country was the scene of 
almost incessant wars. The most famous of these entrenchments is the Poor Man's 
Dyke, on a commanding height to the north of Brighton, which in a more super- 
stitious age was looked upon as a work of the devil. 

The South and North Downs enclose between them the triangular Weald valley, 



THE CHANNEL SLOPE. 



129 



upon whose denuded surface are exposed rocks of mere ancient date than the chalk 
of the surrounding downs. When the Normans invaded England, the Forest, or 
"Weald," of Andred, or Andredes, still covered the whole of this region, but the trees 
have been cut down and converted into charcoal, and consumed in the smelting fur- 
naces erected near iron pits which have long since been abandoned as unprofitable. 
The clays, sands, and limestones of this district were in all probability deposited in 
the delta of some river equal in volume to the Ganges or Mississippi. Its hardened 
alluvium contains in prodigious quantities the debris of terrestrial plants, marsupials, 
terrestrial reptiles and amphibiae, mixed with the remains of fishes, turtles, and fresh- 
water shells. It was to the south of this ancient delta, in Tilgate Forest, near 

Fig. 71.— Beach Y Head. 
From an Admiralty Chart. 




'3 13 ^ 13 



Lewes, that Dr. Mantell discovered the first skeleton of the gigantic Iguanodon, an 
herbivorous land reptile. 

The range of the Northern Downs which separates the Weald from the valley 
of the Thames terminates in the east with the cliffs of Folkestone and Dover, but is 
continued on the other side of the strait in the hills to the east of Calais. All 
that part of England is being encroached upon by the sea, which is constantly 
undermining the cliffs. In many parts the footpath which conducts along their 
summit terminates abruptly in front of a newly formed precipice, and the traveller 
desirous of passing beyond is compelled to strike out for himself a new path 
through the herbage, farther away from its edge. It is more especially the cliffs 



130 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



on the Straits of Dover whicli are exposed to this waste, and Shakspere's Cliff, since 
the day Julius Ceesar set his foot upon the shore of England, is supposed to have 
receded no less than a mile and a half.* Old chronicles tell us of fearful landslips, 
which shook the town of Dover, and caused the country for miles around it to 
vibrate. A railway tunnel passes through one of these cliffs, and it was found 
advisable to secure the cliff' from further encroachments by precipitating its summit 
into the sea, so as to form a kind of breakwater. By the blasting operations carried 
on with this view, a huge mass of rock, of a presumed weight of a million tons, was 



Fig. 72.— RoMNEY Marsh. 
Scale 1 : 350,500. 





Depth over 
5 Fathoms* 
5 Miles. 



detached, and, falling into the sea, formed a bank with an area of about 20 acres, 
upon which the waves now spend their force. 

But whilst the sea is busily demolishing the cliffs of Dover and Hastings, it 
has gradually silted up the intervening level tract. The triangular plain thus 
formed juts out beyond the general line of the coast, and terminates in Dungeness. 
Nowhere else is it possible to meet with a more striking illustration of the influence 
which the strength and direction of the tides exercise upon the formation of a 
coast-line. This Romney level, named after a town in its centre, would never 
have been formed if the English Channel and the North Sea were not placed in 
* Beete Jukes, ** School Manual of Geology." 



DOESETSHIRE. 131 

communication by the Straits of Dover. It owes its existence to the fact that at 
this spot the tidal wave proceeding from the Atlantic is met and stopped by 
another tidal wave, propagated from the North Sea. The waste of the cliffs of 
Hastings, held in suspension by the water, cannot, consequently, pass beyond this 
point, where opposite tides neutralise each other, and it is therefore deposited 
along the coast of the Eomney Marsh, which is thus continually increasing in 
extent. Dungeness, its extreme point, is supposed to advance annually about 
5 feet into the sea. 

Agriculture and sheep farming are the principal occupations in that part of 
England which extends from Cornwall to the Straits of Dover. There are no really 
large towns besides Southampton, Portsmouth, and Brighton, and these only flourish 
because in one way or other they are dependencies and outposts of London. 
Reduced to their own resources, they would soon sink to a secondary rank. 

Topography. 

Dorsetshire is a maritime county, pleasantly diversified, and in the enjoyment 
of a dry and salubrious climate. A considerable portion of its area is occupied by 
chalky downs, which extend from the coast at Lyme Regis to Cranborne Chase, a 
wooded tract on the border of Wiltshire, and attain their greatest height (910 feet) 
in Pillesdon Pen, to the west of Beaminster. Lesser ranges extend along the 
sea- coast, and end in the isles, or rather peninsulas, of Portland and Purbeck. 
The chief rivers are the Frome and the Stour. The former enters Poole Harbour ; 
the latter traverses the fruitful vale of Blackmore, and finally passes into 
Hampshire, where it joins the Avon. The so-called Trough of Poole is a low-lying 
district around Poole Harbour, abounding in peaty mosses. Agriculture and dairy- 
farming are the principal industries. 

Lyme Regis, close to the Devonshire border, romantically seated in a deep 
comb opening out upon the sea between cliffs of forbidding aspect, is a favourite 
watering-place. The neighbouring village of Charmouth has its Undercliff, like 
Yentnor, in the Isle of Wight, and there are other landslips in its neighbourhood. 

Bridporty 2 miles above the small harbour formed by the river Brit, is 
an ancient but somewhat decayed town, where flax-spinning and ship-building 
are carried on. Higher up the beautiful and fertile valley of the Brit, in the 
midst of the hills, there stands the small market town of Beaminster. 

Chesil Bank, which connects the mainland with the Isle of Portland, commences 
at the mouth of the Brit. Portland, with its fortifications, its convict prison, 
quarries, and magnificent breakwater, has already been referred to (see p. 122). 
On the western side of the capacious bay, now protected by this great work of 
engineering skill, Weymouth is seated, with its aristocratic suburb of Me Icombe Regis. 
Like Bridport, it has had its period of decay, but its beach, so well adapted for 
sea-bathing, the beauty of the surrounding country, and the advantages conferred 
upon it by its well-sheltered harbour could hardly fail of once more restoring it to 
prosperity. 



132 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

Dorchester, the county town, on the Frome, was anciently known by the Celtic 
name of Durnovaria, and after the invasion of the Romans it was fortified by them. 
It is a quiet, prosperous place, its most remarkable building being the pinnacled 
tower of the church at the point of intersection of its four streets. In its 
neighbourhood there exists the most perfect Roman amphitheatre in England. 
It is known as Mambury, and is in so fair a state of preservation for open-air 
performances that a witch was burnt in its centre as recently as 1705, when a 
large crowd attended the spectacle. Flowing past the ancient town otWareham, 
and its magnificent earthworks, which have resisted the onset of many a Danish 
attack, the Frome enters the shallow harbour of Poole, which is the principal 
seaport of the county, foremost amongst its exports being potter's clay, from the 
neighbouring isle of Purbeck, and pitwood. Ship-building is carried on, oysters 
are bred, and there are a few potteries in the neighbourhood. The Isle of Purbeck, 
on the southern side of Poole Harbour, must ever form a focus of attraction to 
geologists, who will find in the museum of the small but ancient village of Corfe 
Castle a collection of the most interesting fossils yielded by the district. Kim- 
meridge is a village well known to geologists on account of its clay, but the chief 
place of the isle is Swanage, a favourite watering-place in summer, because it is 
exposed to the cooling breeze from the north-east. 

The Stour, in its course through the county, runs past Blandford Forum and 
Wimhorne, the latter famous for its minster, a building of singular beauty. At 
Kingston Lacy, 2 miles to the north-west of the town, there stands an obelisk 
brought thither from the island of Philae. Shaftesbury, traditionally one of the 
oldest towns in the kingdom, where King Alfred founded a nunnery in 880 
for one of his daughters, stands on the margin of the fruitful vale of Blackmore. 

Sherborne is the only town of the county which lies beyond the Channel basin. 
It is seated on the river Yeo, which finds its way into the Bristol Channel. It was 
a bishopric until 1058, and still boasts a fine cathedral to remind it of its days 
of grandeur, a famous grammar school, and several curious old dwelling-houses. 
Glove-making is carried on both here and in the neighbouring town of Yeovil, in 
Somersetshire. 

Wiltshire is an inland county, which lies only partly within the basin of the 
English Channel. Its southern and more extensive portion forms the so-called plain 
of Salisbury, an undulating chalky table-land, drained by the river Avon and its 
tributaries, and lying at an elevation of about 500 feet above the level of the sea. 
The northern escarpment of this table-land looks down upon the vale of Pewsey, 
the most fertile tract of the county, on greensand, and bounded on the north 
by the Marlborough Downs, a treeless tract of chalk hills, presenting features 
similar to those of Salisbury Plain. The north-western part lies within the basin 
of the Severn, and is drained by the Bristol Avon ; the north-eastern part belongs 
to the basin of the Thames. Foremost amongst the productions of Wiltshire are 
cheese, bacon, and mutton, and the manufacture of cloth is extensively carried on in 
the valley of the Bristol Avon. Some iron ore is raised in the neighbourhood of 
Westbury and Melksham. 



WILTSHIRE. 



133 



Salishury, the county town, is favourably situated at the confluence of three 
streams — the Upper Avon, Bourn, and Wiley. Its foundation only dates back 
to the thirteenth century. Old Sarimi, which down to the reign of Henry III. 
was one of the most important towns of the kingdom, exists no longer ; but 
for more than five hundred years after it had ceased to be inhabited it retained 
the privilege of returning two members to Parliament, who were virtually 
the nominees of the lord of the manor. Its site is marked by a conical 
knoll, about 2 miles to the north of the moderh town. Salisbury is now 
one of the cleanest towns in the kingdom, but as recently as 1840 it was a 

Fig. 73. —Salisbury Cathedeat.. 




poor place, with numerous unsightly brick houses covered with thatched roofs. 
It has grown more sightly since, but all its modern buildings are thrown into the 
shade by its famous cathedral, the finest Gothic church in England, and the only 
cathedral in the country of which the nave was erected in the course of a single 
generation. It was finished in 1258, in the purest pointed style, then only 
recently introduced, and in accordance with the original conceptions of its 
architect. Its spire, the loftiest in England, rising 400 feet above the pavement, 
although not built for a century after the nave had been completed, so far from 
disfiguring it, is one of the most imposing objects of which Gothic architecture 
can boast. The nave and north porch have recently been restored to the condition 



134 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



in which they were before the Puritans robbed them of their numerous ornaments. 
The cloisters and adjoining chapter-house, octagonal in form, and with a vaulted 
roof supported by a central pillar, need not fear comparison with similar structures 
in other parts of the world.* The Salisbury Museum contains Dr. Blackmore's 
collection of prehistoric remains, the valuable American collections of Squiers 
and Davis, and numerous other objects of interest. Amongst its remains of 



Fig. 74.— Salisbury and Stonehenge. 
Scale 1 : 168,000. 



Ancients^- T^SmW^ 



#-'/'/.:':7^ Ancient Earthworks 



V/W/.V: 







}IM'm\<^''- 



1*50 



1-40 W,ofG. 



«T Tumulus 
2 Miles. 



mediaeval architecture, the finest example is a banqueting hall, built about 1470 
by John Hall, a wool-stapler, and now used as a china store. Salisbury carries on 
a large trade in wool, and manufactures a little cutlery. Important sheep fairs 
are held at the village of Britford, a couple of miles to the south of it. Wilton, to 
the westward, at the confluence of the Wiley and Nadder, has a carpet factory, and 

* Atii6dee Pichot, " L'Irlande et le pays de Galles." 



WILTSHIRE. 135 

a seat of the Earl of Pembroke, famed for its marbles and Vandycks. Wardour 
Castle, a venerable pile in a finely wooded park, rises on the Upper Nadder, and is 
rich in art treasures. 

Warminster is the most important town in the valley of the Wiley, and its 
neighbourhood abounds in entrenchments attributed to the ancient Britons. But 
far more interesting than either of the places named are the circles of stones to the 
west of the ancient town of Amesbury, on the Upper Avon, and in the very centre 
of the plain of Salisbury. These "hanging stones," formerly known also under 
the name of " dancing giants,"* were originally arranged in two circles and two 
ellipses, having an altar for their common centre, but now present the appearance 
of a confused pile of enormous rocks. Most of these stones are such as occur on 
the plain, but some of the smaller ones appear to be erratic boulders, probably 
conveyed hither from Devonshire. Roman and British pottery have been found in 
the neighbourhood, which abounds in barrows, or sepulchral tumuli, but these 
remains have not hitherto shed any light upon the origin of Stonehenge.f 

Northern Wiltshire lies within the basins of the Bristol Avon and Thames. 
Devizes is the principal town of the fertile 

vale of Pewsey, which extends between ^'^' '^^■~^^^^^^' 

the downs of South and North Wiltshire, - ^^ ^ ^=^^3- ^:^ ^^_ 

and is traversed by a canal connecting the '^ ^^--^=^ ' ^^^ . ^' 

Thames (Kennet) with the Bristol Avon. ^^^ ^ =^ ^^ ^- 

Devizes carries on a considerable trade ^^^^-^^^^S^^s^^UtjSf^ i^ltt 
in corn and cloth. Its museum, the pro- ^flj ■^V^nf^^^HH^^fllV 
perty of the Wiltshire Archaeological and ^^^^^HHHH^^HJHJ^^I^kK 
Natural History Society, is more especially — ^^^^^^^^^^BH[^^HH^^fc 
rich in fossils. Seend, a villao^e to the ~^^^^^^^^^^5^^^^^^^^^ 

west of Devizes, has iron foundries. 

The Bristol Avon traverses the manufacturing district of the county, which 
shares in the clothing industry of Western England, the principal seats of which 
are gathered round the Cotswold Hills. Malmeshury, a decayed town on the 
Upper Avon, with a fine abbey church, does not participate in the prosperity of 
the towns on the lower course of the river. Chippenham, in some respects the 
most important amongst these latter, is celebrated for its cheese and corn markets, 
and successfully carries on the manufacture of cloth, agricultural machinery, 
and condensed milk. The bridge which here spans the Avon is a venerable 
structure, built probably in the latter part of the twelfth century, Calne, a 
town famous for its bacon, lies to the east. The Lansdowne column crowns a lofty 
promontory of chalk in its neighbourhood. It stands within the area of Oldbury 
Castle, an entrenchment to which the Danes are supposed to have retired after their 
defeat by Alfred in the battle of Ethandune. A huge White Horse, 157 feet in 
length, and visible at a distance of 30 miles, was cut into the chalky ground, in 
1780, by an enthusiastic physician of Calne, to commemorate this victory. Laycock 

* Thomas Wright, " The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon." 
t Rich. Colt Hoare, " History of Wiltshire." 



136 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

Abbey, to the soufh of Chippenham, was the property of W. H. Fox Talbot, the 
well-known inventor of Talbotype. Corsham, an old residence of the Saxon 
kings, lies to the east, and carries on an extensive trade in oolitic freestone, procured 
from quarries in its neighbourhood. MeJksham, on the Avon, has a thriving cloth 
industry, but yields in importance to its neighbour Bradford-on-Avon, prettily 
situated on the slopes of the hill, and rich in quaint gable-fronted houses. Its 
most interesting building is the Saxon church of St. Lawrence, the only perfect 
Saxon church remaining in England. Bradford has been noted for many cen- 
turies for its fine broadcloth, and kerseymeres were first made here, but the cloth 
industry is no\N' carried on more extensively in the neighbouring town of Trow- 
bridge, which crowns the summit of a lofty rock on the banks of the Bliss, a 
southern feeder of the Avon. Higher up on that river are the iron mines and 
furnaces of Westbury. 

The Thames, or rather Tsis, traverses the northern extremity of the county, 
running past the ancient town of Cricklade, the centre of an extensive parlia- 
mentary borough. Old Swindon, in a pleasantly diversified grazing country to 
the south, is a pretty market town, which has risen into importance since the 
construction, by the Great Western Railway Company, of extensive workshops 
and stores. Most of the men employed by the company live in New Swindon, 
about a mile to the north of the old market town. 

The river Kennet rises on the Marlborough Downs, which are not less rich in 
prehistoric remains than Salisbury Plain, and joins the Thames at Reading. Marl- 
borough, the principal Wiltshire town in its valley, is a quaint old-fashioned place, 
with a famous college occupying the site of the Norman castle, and in close prox- 
imity to Savernake Forest, the domain of the Marquis of Aylesbury. Ascending 
the Kennet for about 5 miles, we reach Silbury Hill, a gigantic artificial mound 
rising to a height of 125 feet, and surrounded by a circle of sarsen stones. Tradition 
is silent as to the events which this structure is intended to commemorate. Close 
to it rises Avebury, girt by an earthen mound 170 feet in height, and an inner 
ditch. The area thus enclosed was originally occupied by stone circles, similar 
to those of Stonehenge, and perhaps of even greater antiquity, but as many of 
the stones have been removed, it is difficult now to trace the original arrange- 
ments.* 

Hampshire, South amptonshire, or Hants, one of the most agreeable counties 
of England, has a varied surface and a mild and genial climate. A considerable 
portion of it is occupied by chalky downs, whose northern escarpments f look down 
upon the valley of the Kennet, whilst to the southward they slope towards the 
level tracts which border the English Channel. The valleys which intersect these 
downs contain much good land, and some of the finest water-meadows in England. 
The south-western portion of the county is almost wholly occupied by the sparsely 
peopled district known as the New Forest, where oak and beech trees abound, but 
which also includes large stretches of heath. The most populous towns have arisen 

* Forbes Leslie, " Early Races of Scotland." 
t Inkpen here attnins a height of 970 feet. 



HAMPSHIRE. 



137 



on tlie capacious bays which indent the coast. Agriculture and sheep farming 
are the principal occupations, the manufactures being altogether unimportant. 

The Salisbury Avon traverses the western extremity of the county. Flowino- 
past the ancient towns of Fordingbridge and Bingwood, it enters the English 
Channel below Christchurch, a small seaport, the only attraction of which consists 
of a fine priory church. Bournemouth is an aspiring watering-place to the west of 
the Avon, much resorted to on account of its dry climate, but not so favoured as 
many other watering-places as regards picturesque scenery. 

Lyndhurst, the capital of the New Forest, is a smalltown much frequented during 
the summer, because the neighbourhood is full of interest to the botanist and entomo- 
logist. On the skirts of the forest is Lymington, an outport of Southampton, with 
an inconsiderable coasting trade. Bay-salt is manufactured in its neighbourhood. 

The peninsula at the head of Southampton Water, formed by the confluence 
of the Test and Itchin, is occupied by the town of Southampton. The Roman 
town of Ciausentum lay to the east of the Itchin, its site being occupied now by the 
village of Bittern. The Test, or Anton, is a good trout stream. It rises above the 
old town of Andover, to the west of which lies the village of Weyhill, famous for 
its sheep and hop fairs, and runs past the towns of Stockhridge and Romsey. The 
latter boasts a noble abbey church. Adjoining it is Broadlands, the residence of 
the late Lord Palmerston, to whom a monument has been erected in the town. 
The Itchin washes the foot of a plateau upon which rises the ancient and illustrious 
city of Winchester, known as Caer Gwent, or *' White Town," in the time of the 
Britons, perhaps in token of its pre-eminence. During the century which preceded 
the invasion of the Homans immigrant Belgae settled at Winchester, whence its 
Latin name of Veuta Belgarum. The Saxons made it the capital of Wessex, and 
subsequently of the whole of England, and notwithstanding sieges and ravages, it 
retained its title until the twelfth century. For a long time afterwards it was 
looked upon as a kind of holy city, and Parliaments met there, and kings were 
crowned in its cathedral. The latter is its chief edifice, and recalls the time of its 
ancient supremacy. It has been built and transformed in various ages, and includes 
examples of all the styles of architecture — from the rude Norman to the most 
highly ornate decorated. The great western window occupies more than two- 
thirds of the height of this superb structure, and the light which penetrates through 
its stained glass falls upon mortuary chests, supposed to contain the bones of early 
Saxon kings. Winchester College, founded by William of Wykeham in 1387, is 
another remarkable monument of the Middle Ages, not so much on account 
of its architecture as of an adherence to ancient traditions in the system of 
education carried on within its walls. Of the old royal castle, originally built by 
William the Conqueror, only the wall and a subterranean passage remain. The 
palace which Charles II. erected is now occupied as a barrack. The Hospital of 
St. Cross, founded in 1136, lies about a mile to the south of Winchester, and the 
** wayfarer's dole," consisting of a horn of beer and a piece of bread, is still given 
to all who apply for it at the porter's lodge. Higher up on the Itchin is the 
market town of Alresford. 
106-E 



188 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Southampton occupies so favourable a position between the estuaries of tbe Test 
and Itchin, and at tbe bead of its long bay, tbat we need not wonder at the 
importance into which it has grown since England has permanently entered into 
intimate relations with the continent. Flemish refugees, driven by religious 
intolerance from their homes in the sixteenth century, introduced several branches 
of manufacture, including more especially that of cloth- weaving, but these indus- 
tries deserted the town in the course of last century. The event which made South- 



Fig. 76.— Southampton Water. 
Scale 1 : 160,000. 




WoPCr 



Depth under 
5 Fathoms. 



Depth over 
5 Fathoms. 



2 Miles. 



ampton what it is was the opening of the South-Western Railway. Placed thereby 
within a two-hours' ride of the metropolis, Southampton was enabled to make the 
most of the advantages which it oflfered to persons desirous of proceeding from 
London to foreign parts. By embarking at Southampton these travellers avoided 
the delay incidental to a passage through the Straits of Dover. That town 
became, in fact, the starting-point of the Indian and other mail-packets, and the 
docks excavated for their accommodation at the head of the peninsula, as well as 



HAMPSHIRE. 139 

the roadstead, are at all times crowded with steamers. The stream of travellers 
which uninterruptedly passes through the town, the transhipment of merchan- 
dise, and the repair, outfit, and construction of ships have given an impetus to 
the industry of the place, which is causing it steadily to expand in the direction of 
Shirley and other neighbouring villages. *' Bargate," which separates the lower 
from the upper town, is the most interesting relic of old Southampton. The 
Hartley Institution contains a museum, a library, and a School of Art, but 
geographers are more likely to feel interested in the Ordnance Survey Office, which 
is intrusted with the publication of the maps of the United Kingdom. Several 
thousand sheets, varying in scale from 6 feet to 1 inch to a mile, have already been 
published, but many years must elapse before this gigantic work can be completed, 
only to be begun de novo, for the surface of the country is perpetually changing, 
from natural causes no less than through the agency of man. 

The eastern bank of Southampton Water is one of the loveliest and most 
salubrious districts in England, and no better site could have been selected for the 
great Naval and Military Hospital of the country, founded immediately after the 
termination of the Crimean war. Though christened in honour of Queen 
Victoria, this hospital is popularly named after the ruins of Netley Abbey, which 
are in its vicinity. It forms an outlying dependency of Portsmouth, which defends 
the mouth of the Portus Magnns of the Romans, opposite to the Isle of Wight. 
This great place ot war, whose population fluctuates with the requirements of the 
naval authorities, consists in reality of three distinct towns, viz. Portsmouth, 
Portsea, and Gosport, the two former on Portsea Island, on the eastern side of the 
harbour, the latter opposite. The lines of fortification, however, include several 
suburbs and even outlying towns. Southsea, to the south of Portsmouth, facing 
the road of Spithead, is a new watering-place, with an aquarium and a fine 
esplanade. Landport, the northern suburb, leads to the Lines of Hilsea, which 
defend Portsea Island. Stokes Bay, with the watering-place of Anglesey, lies 
between the walls of Gosport and the detached forts. In it is the *' measured 
mile " for testing the speed of Government vessels. Even Porchester, the ancient 
Roman station on the northern side of the bay, where there are the remains of a 
Norman castle, and the small port of Fareham, in its north-western corner, have been 
drawn within the new lines of defence. Portsmouth is now virtually one of the 
strongest fortresses in the world. The entrance to the harbour is defended by 
Southsea Castle and Fort Monckton, and by a number of ironclad forts raised 
upon artificial islands in Spithead Road, and armed with guns of the heaviest 
calibre. Two lines of detached forts defend the approaches to Gosport, and a chain 
of most powerful works crowns the heights of Portsdown, to the north of the 
harbour. These various works of defence are armed with 1,120 guns, and a 
garrison of 20,000 men is required to man them. They are well calculated to 
secure the safety of the docks and arsenals, which give shelter to England's most 
powerful men-of-war and a vast accumulation of naval and military stores. 
Portsmouth proper possesses but little to interest the visitor, except, perhaps, its 
garrison chapel, which formed part of the Hospital of St. Nicholas, founded in the 



140 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



time of Henry III. ; but Portsea, with its floating basins, covers an area of 290 
acres, and its arsenal, armory, and ship-yards abound in objects calculated to 
rivet the attention. Here may be seen the most perfect and ingenious machinery 
for making blocks, rivets, and bolts, and the amplest arrangements for the construc- 
tion and repair of wooden and iron ships. Off the dockyard lies Nelson's celebrated 
flagship, the Victory, and looking northward, we discern, clearly standing out against 
the sky, an obelisk which has been erected in his memory. Gosport, besides large 
barracks, contains the Royal Clarence Victualling Yard, a huge establishment. 
Haslar Hospital, for sailors and soldiers, lies about a mile beyond the town. Life 
in Portsmouth may be said to be concentrated in the dockyard, to which the town 

Fig. 77. — FoKisMouTH and Approaches. 

Scale 1 : 185.000. 




Foreshore. 



Depth under 
2^ Fathoms. 





is indebted for its prosperity ; but there remains a small surplus of energy for 
carrying on a not inconsiderable coasting trade. Charles Dickens is the most 
illustrious amongst the men born here. 

Havant, at the head of Langston Harbour, to the east of Portsmouth, is a 
small market town ; whilst Hayling, on the flat island of the same name, 
aspires to the honour of being a watering-place, and engages in oyster-breeding. 
Petersfield, an old parliamentary borough, close to the Sussex border, is a pretty 
market town at the northern foot of the South Downs. 

The north-eastern point of Hampshire lies within the basin of the Thames. 
Here are Basingstoke, Alton, and Alder shot. The first is the centre of one of 



SUSSEX. 24 J 



the finest wheat and bean growing districts in England, which extends northward to 
Silchester, a village on the boundary of Berkshire. Silchester is interesting on 
account of the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. Alton, on the Upper Wey is 
famous for its hops. Aldershot, since the establishment of a permanent military 
camp on the downs in its neighbourhood in 1854, has grown from an inconsider- 
able village into a populous town. The two military colleges of Sandhurst lie to 
the north of the camp, within the county of Berkshire. 

Rude, opposite Portsmouth Harbour, is the largest town of the Isle of Wight. 
It is altogether a town of pleasure, surrounded by gardens and villa residences, 
and the chief landing-place of the crowds of visitors annually attracted by the beau- 
tiful scenery of the island. Newport, the chief town, almost in the centre of the 
island, at the head of the estuary of the Medina, possesses few features of interest ; 
but it adjoins the pretty village of Carisbrooke, commanded by a picturesque Korman 
castle, in which Charles I. was confined a prisoner, and his daughter Elizabeth 
died in 1650. The port of the Medina is at Cowes. If Portsmouth is the great 
resort of men-of-war, and Southampton a principal station for mail-steamers, West 
Cowes may feel some pride in being the head-quarters of the royal yacht squadron. 
Its regattas are the most famous in the world, and on these occasions the most 
expert seamanship may be witnessed, for the members of the Royal Yacht Club 
have in their service 1,500 of the best sailors England is able to furnish. Slat- 
woods, a villa near Cowes, was the birthplace of Dr. Arnold, of Rugby, and Osborne 
House is the marine residence of her Majesty Queen Victoria. 

Sandoicn is a favourite resort on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight. The 
road leads thence through the lovely village of Bonchureh to Vent nor, the chief 
place on the Undercliff. Bonchureh, in the opinion of Dr. Arnold, is " the most 
beautiful thing on the sea-coast this side of Genoa." 

Freshwater Gate, Alum Bay (where sand is dug for the glass trade), and 
Yarmouth are favourite tourist haunts in the extreme west of the island, close 
to the famous " Needles." 

Sussex, which* preserves the name of a Saxon kingdom, is a maritime county 
belonging to two well-marked geological districts, viz. those of the Chalk and the 
Wealden. The chalky range of the South Downs extends through the southern 
portion of the county, from the borders of Hampshire to Beachy Head. It slopes 
down gently towards the sea, but presents a bold escarpment where it joins the 
Weald. To this latter the remainder of the county belongs, and it abounds in 
wild woodland scenery, unsurpassed in any other part of England. Most of the 
rivers which rise on the southern slope of th.e Forest Ridge, the backbone of the 
Wealden district, find their way to the sea through the downs by oourses which 
they have hollowed for themselves. The soil of the Weald is for the most part a 
stiff" tenacious clay, but along the sea-coast, in Pevensey Level and around 
Winchelsea, there occur extensive tracts of fine marsh land. Hops are raised in 
large quantities, and the county is justly celebrated for its fine breeds of sheep and 
cattle, and the excellence and abundance of its timber, oak being more prevalent 
in the Weald, and beech in the other parts. Ironstone exists, but it has not been 



142 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

raised since the use of charcoal has been superseded by that of pit coal in the 
smelting and refining of iron. All the large towns are near the coast, and the 
central part very thinly peopled ; but with the exception of Hastings there is not 
one which can boast of fine scenery, and most of them are commercially unim- 
portant, owing to the coast being singularly deficient in good harbours. Even 
Chichester, the Roman station in the country of the Regni, and subsequently 
the capital of the Southern Saxons, retains its importance chiefly on account 
of its fine cathedral, the only one in England which has a nave with four aisles. 
Goodwood Park and its famous racecourse are in the neighbourhood. 

Bognor was founded in 1786 by a London hatter, as a rival of Bath. Little- 
ham2)ton, at the mouth of the Arun, and Worthing, are small watering-places, 
frequented chiefly on account of the mildness of their climate, the facility of access 
from London, and the advantages which they afEord for sea-bathing. The town 
of Arundel is situated 4 miles up the river Arun. Its magnificent castle is the 
baronial residence of the Duke of Norfolk, who has built a Roman Catholic Church, 
at the enormous cost of £100,000, which far surpasses in size and splendour the 
old parish church. Cisbury Hill, crowned by a British camp, lies to the north 
of Worthing, and within an easy walking distance is the village of Tarring, 
famous for its fig gardens, said to have been planted in 1145, and producing 
about 2,500 figs annually. JHew Shoreham, at the mouth of the Adur, which has 
opened itself a passage through the downs a few miles to the north at Steyning 
and Bramher, possesses a small tidal harbour, and carries on some coasting trade. 

Brighton, whose houses and terraces extend for 4 miles along the coast, from 
Hove to Kemp Town, can neither boast of a beach presenting unusual facilities 
to bathers, nor is its climate very mild, nor the scenery of the surrounding country 
very attractive. It is indebted for its good fortune to the circumstance of 
having been built under the same meridian as London, and on a part of the 
south coast most readily accessible by rail. Brighton is, in fact, a mere suburb 
of London. It has grown into a populous town through the favour extended to 
it by the Londoners, and though having no other industries than its fisheries 
and the entertainment of visitors, it numbers 100,000 inhabitants, or 150,000 
during the season, being in this respect the equal of many important manu- 
facturing or commercial towns. Hundreds of merchants whose places of business 
are in London have chosen Brighton for their residence, and almost every morning 
they travel up to their offices, and return thither in the afternoon. By degrees 
Brighton has come to be looked upon as the queen of watering-places on the 
south coast of England, and its fine museum, in the curious Pavilion which 
George lY. .erected as a marine residence, its unrivalled Aquarium, opened in 
1872, schools, and other public institutions entitle it to rank amongst the foremost 
towns of England. Brighton has two piers, which jut out into the sea for a 
considerable distance. The town is supplied with excellent drinking water from 
the chalk hills which bound it on the north. 

The old carriage road from London to Brighton runs through Lewes, an 
interesting town, at a gap in the South Downs, through which the Ouse finds its 



SUSSEX. 



143 



way to the sea. A portion of the castle contains the museum of the Sussex 
Archaeological Society. Mount Harry, the site of the defeat of Henry III. by 
Earl Simon de Montfort in 1264, lies 3 miles to the east of it. Newhaven, at 
the mouth of the Ouse, is merely an outport of London, whence there is regular 
communication with Dieppe. Close to the railway station may be seen a mill, the 
motive power of which is supplied by the tide. Formerly the Ouse entered the 
sea at Seafordy a quiet watering-place about 2 miles farther east. 

Eastbourne, on the eastern side of Beachy Head, consists of an old village at 



Fig. 78. — Brighton. 

Scale 1 : 120,000. 




W.of G. 



Foreshore 



2 Miles. 



some distance from the sea, and a modern watering-place, far more quiet in 
appearance than are its rivals, Brighton and Hastings. But whilst the old village 
of Eastbourne has grown into a populous town, its neighbour Pevensey, on the site 
of the Roman Portus Anderida, and affiliated to Hastings as one of the Cinque 
Ports, has been deserted by the sea, and has dwindled into a poor village, whose 
houses nestle at the base of a Norman castle reared upon Roman foundations. As 
one of the Cinque Ports, Pevensey was exempted from customs dues, and enjoyed 
special fishery rights, on condition of its providing a certain number of men-of-war 



144 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



for the King's service. We may fairly doubt whether Julius Caesar landed in Peven- 
sey Bay, but there can be no question of its having sheltered, in 1066, the nine 
hundred vessels which brought William the Conqueror's host to England. It was 
from here he marched upon the village of Epiton, now known as Battle, where he 
overthrew the Saxons under King Harold. On the spot where the Saxon standard 



Fig. 79. — Hastings. 
From an Admiralty Chai-t. 













'"4 " 

4i ..-si 
«* Si 

6 fit 









4*^ ,'■ ^^' 

6 -••■ 4 *• Jm^ « e 

e ? , 7 7 5 ^ « V.'' ' 



*««7 7 /<■ 5777 



6 S x'ZJ O 



/' 
i 
! 13 It 






! MUes. 



was captured and King Harold fell, the victorious Norman caused an abbey to be 
erected, which he endowed with the prettily wooded land for a league around, and 
with numerous manors in other parts of the kingdom. At the village of Brightling, 
near here, a great boring for coal took place in 1876 ; the bore extended to a depth 
of 2,000 feet without reaching coal, but it passed through a bed of gypsum which 
is now being worked. 



SUSSEX. 146 

' Hastings, whose Scandinavian name suflBciently indicates its origin, is, next to 
Brighton, the principal watering-place on the south coast of England, and far 
surpasses it in the picturesqueness of its surroundings. The old town is built at' 
the mouth of a valley shut in between cliffs, one of which (the west) is surmounted 
by the remains of a castle. The modem watering-place coalesces with the western 
suburb of St. Leonards ; but clusters of buildings have also sprung up on the 
surrounding hills, and these enjoy a climate radically distinct from that which 
prevails along the coast. Though formerly the most jiowerful of the Cinque Ports, 
furnishing no less than twenty- one vessels towards the fleet out of a total of fifty- 
seven, Hastings is now unimportant as a place of maritime commerce ; but it still 
carries on its fisheries. Wirichelsea and Rye, which from the time of King John 
enjoyed the same privileges as the Cinque Ports, are two interesting little towns in 
the marsh lands which stretch from Eastern Sussex into Kent. The former of these 
places lies 3 miles to the north-west of the ancient site of the town, which was 
submerged in 1287. Rye, like Winchelsea, has since been deserted by the sea, but 
still carries on some coasting trade through its outlying harbour, about a mile and 
a half to the east of the town. During the Middle Ages this town was much 
frequented, and on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes numerous Huguenots 
settled in it, and many of their descendants still live there. A huge church, an old 
tower, and a gate are the principal buildings likely to interest the antiquary. 

Horsham, on the Upper Arun and to the west of St. Leonards Forest, the chief 
town in the Weald of Sussex, is remarkable on account of its wide streets planted 
with shady trees. All other towns in this district are of local importance only. 
Midhurst, on the Eastern Rother, is a dull market town ; Petworth, to the east of 
it, attracts visitors on account of the art treasures stored in a neighbouring mansion 
called Petworth House ; Cuckfield was of some importance as a stage on the high-road 
which connects London with Brighton ; whilst JJckfield is deserving of notice for 
the charming woodlands which surround it. 

A small portion of the county, to the north of the Forest Hills, lies within the 
basin of the Thames. Here East Grinstead is the most important town. It is a 
rising place, near the head of the Medway, in the midst of charming scenery, and 
is rapidly becoming a suburban residence of City merchants. 

Dover and Folkestone both lie on the Channel slope, but will be described in 
connection with the county of Kent. 





CHAPTER VI. 

THE BASIN OF THE THAMES. 
(Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Bugkinghamshihe, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Essex.) 

tIE Thames is not the largest river of the British Islands, but in 
historical importance it has few rivals. The largest river of our 
globe, tbe Amazon, drains an area of 2,300,000 square miles, but 
within its basin there dwells not one titbe of the population which 
crowds the great city of the Thames valley. True the city we 
refer to is Liondon, probably the greatest agglomeration of human beings which 
the world ever saw. 

The river which flows past London rises within a short distance of the Bristol 
Channel, on an oolitic upland of the Cotswold Hills, which looks down upon the 
broad plain of Stroud, Gloucester, and Cheltenham on the west. Some of its springs 
rise close to the edge of the escarpment which faces the valley of the Severn, 900 
feet below them. Formerly the whole of this upland region belonged to the basin 
of the Severn, but continued erosive action has encroached upon the eastern slope of 
the plateau, and for ages the water-parting has been travelling westward, the basin 
of the Thames gaining in extent at the expense of that of the Severn,* An 
examination of a geological map of England shows at a glance how extensively the 
liassic strata in the region which gives rise to the head- waters of the Thames have 
been reduced by denudation. 

The principal source of the river, known as Thames Head, rises at an elevation 
of 376 feet above the sea, a little to the south-west of Cirencester. It gives birth 
to the Isis, which, having been augmented by the Churn, the Colne, and other 
streams, becomes navigable for barges at Lechlade, on the borders of Gloucester- 
shire and Berkshire. Only after its junction with the Thame, in Oxfordshire, does 
the combined river obtain its proper name of Thames, which it retains till it joins 
the German Ocean. In its course it traverses various geological formations, 
which succeed each other with singular regularity. From the oolitic uplands near 
its head it passes through a region of chalk, succeeded by tertiary rocks and the 
alluvial deposits which surround its estuary. Speaking generally, the basin of the 
* Ramsay, " Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britaia." 



THE BASIN OF THE THAMES. 



147 



Thames may be said to be made up of parallel strips varying in width, but all 
striking from the south-west to the north-east. A broad band of cretaceous rocks 
extends, however, to the south, having its root in the " plain " of Salisbury, and 
forming the range of the ^N'orth Downs, which separates the tracts of the Weald 
from the valley of the" Thames. The eastern extremity of the county of Kent, 
which may be likened to the prow of England, forms part of this extended band 
of chalk. These North Downs, together with the culminating points rising upon 
the uplands from which they extend eastward, forni the highest elevations within 
the basin of the Thames, Their height, however, in no instance exceeds 
1,000 feet.* The chalky uplands to the north of the river are even less elevated, 
and only the Chiltern Hills, which stretch north-eastward from the Thames, above 
Reading, can compare with them, their culminating point, Wendover Hill, attain- 



Fig. 80. — CiRENGESTER AND ThAMES HeAD. 
Scale 1 : 175,u00. 




bfetade 



W.of G 



r 5.0 



2 Miles. 



ing a height of 905 feet. Formerly these hills abounded in timber, especially 
beech, and afforded shelter to numerous highwaymen. To put the latter down, and 
to protect the inhabitants of the neighbouring parts from their depredations, a 
" steward " was appointed under the Crown. For several generations past the 
duties of this officer have ceased, but his office remains, in order that it may be 
conferred on any member of Parliament, not otherwise disqualified, who is desirous 
of resigning his seat. The applicant, by accepting office under the Crown, 
renders his seat in Parliament vacant, and a writ for a new election is ordered. 

The basin of the VThames has singularly varied in extent in the course of 
geological ages, in accordance with the oscillations of the land and the displace- 
ments of the sea. Whilst England still constituted a portion of the neighbouring 
* Milk Hill, 967 feet; Inkpen, 973 feet ; Leith Hill, 967 feet. 



148 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

continent, the Thames flowed eastward and formed part of the basin of the Rhine. 
At that time it was merely a tributary river, but its volume was nevertheless far 
more considerable than during a subsequent stage, when it flowed into a huge bay 
of the sea, which reached up to London, and when the site of the great city was 
occupied by an oyster bed.* At that period vast swamps extended to the eastward, 
almost shut off from the sea by a half- submerged littoral ridge, upon which, even 
during post-tertiary ages, the bodies of huge animals floated down by the river 
were stranded. The quantity of bones of rhinoceroses, mammoths, elephants, stags, 
bisons, and other animals, which geologists have discovered in the marshes of 
Ilford and elsewhere, is truly astonishing. At the present time the land once 
more gains upon the sea, but this is due, in a large measure, to the work of man. 
The sea-walls, perhaps commenced by the Romans, enclose an area of 33 square 
miles, depressed between 3 and 7 feet below the level of high water.f 

At Teddington Lock, at an elevation of 21 feet above the level of the sea, the 
Thames ceases to be an independent river. The tide flows up to that village, and 
hence, perhaps, its name (Tide-end- ton :J:), but the river does not present the aspect 
of an estuary until within a short distance of London, where muddy banks, 
alternately covered and uncovered by the tide, are first met with. Even within 
the limits of the metropolis the river frequently overflows its banks, and the 
low-lying quarters to the south of it have more than once been invaded by its 
floods. Yet in the basin of the Thames floods ought to be amongst the most 
exceptional occurrences. § The rainfall is pretty regularly distributed through- 
out the year ; there are no high mountain ranges bounding the basin ; the hills 
within it are for the most part of gentle contours ; and the rain runs down slowly 
from them into the river channels. As already remarked, the principal source, 
near Cirencester, rises at an elevation of only 376 feet, but virtually its surface is 
about 30 feet lower, owing to its water being pumped into the summit " pound " 
of the Thames and Severn Canal. But, besides this, more than one-half of the 
basin of the Thames is composed of permeable rocks, which allow the water to 
percolate into the bowels of the earth, instead of rapidly flowing down the hill- 
slopes. The contrast between permeable and impermeable rocks strikes even the 
superficial observer, permeable soil being planted with corn, whilst that which 
retains the water is laid out in meadows. In the permeable district between 
Nuneham and Maidenhead no tributary of any size enters the main river, and yet 
it grows almost visibly with every one of its bends, owing to the numerous 
perennial springs which rise on its banks. A regime such as this acts as a natural 

♦ Hugh Miller, " Summer Rjimble among the Hebrides." 

t Redman, Institution of Civil Engineers, 1877. 

X Huxley, "Physiography." 

§ Volume of ihe Tiiames at Teddington Lock : — 

A verage discharge, per second 1,300 cubic feet. 

Maximum ,. ,, ..... 1,770 „ 

Minimum ,, ,, 700 ,, 

Area of the basin above Teddington Lock , . . 4,590 square miles. 

Rainfall within the basin . 26 inches. 

Surface drainage ........ 4 



THE BASIN OF THE THAMES. 



149 



regulator upon the volume of the river, for whilst the rain which falls upon 
impermeable rocks is quickly carried off, that which percolates through permeable 
soil is stored up for months before it finds its way into the river. Curiously enough, 
the labour of man has been expended to interfere with the natural discharge of the 
river, and the Thames, which is by nature most inoffensive, has become a source 
of danger and annoyance to the people who dwell along its banks. The locks, 
which to the number of thirty-three, interfere with the natural discharge of the 
river between Oxford and Teddington, are for the most part under the control of 
millers, whose interests run counter to those of navigation and of the inhabitants 
generally. They have reduced as far as possible the number of locks required for 
raising the barges from one level to the other, and they take care to maintain the 
level of the river at its highest, so as to secure ample motive power, quite regard- 
less of the fact that by doing so they expose the riverine regions to disastrou.s 

Fig. 81. — Old London Bridgk. 




inundations. The channel of the river being thus for the most part bank-full, is 
incapable of receiving the surplus water resulting from exceptional rains, and floods 
are the natural consequence. But what matters this to the millers, who appear to 
be guided by the axiom that " one man's loss is another man's gain ?" 

But whilst the normal regime of the Upper Thames is being interfered with by 
locks, the channel exposed to the action of the tide was, until recently, quite as 
much encumbered by old-fashioned bridges. Old London Bridge, owing to its 
contracted arches, proved a formidable impediment to the free passage of the tide. At 
low water, on account of the obstacle it presented to the returning tide, there was a 
fall here of about 5 feet. Since the reconstruction of this bridge a greatly increased 
body of tidal water flows up and down the river, and as it meets with no obstruc- 
tion, it flows with a decidedly greater velocity. The eflect of this is to scour and 
deepen the channel ; shores formerly foul and muddy have become clean shingle 
and gravel ; the time of high water is an hour in advance of what it was at 



15Q • THE BRITISH ISLES. 

the close of the fourteenth century ; and the tide rises a foot higher than it did 

formerly.* 

Of the tributaries of the Thames, the Thame, Kennet, Wey, Lea, Rodmg, and 
Darent alone are navigable, for the Medway, which falls into its estuary, is, pro- 

Yig, 82. — The Entrance to the Thames. 
From an Admiralty Chart. Scale 1 : 384,000. 







K i: S '! 



iic'i/ne^' 1'., . / <" 2 r 



^ 






5 Miles. 



perly speaking, an independent river ; and the same remark applies to the Chelmer, 
Colne, and Stour, which fall into the mouth of the Thames, using that term in 
its most extended sense, at various points on the Sussex coast. The Nore light- 
ship, which lies off Sheerness, where the river is 6 miles wide, marks the 
commonly reputed mouth of the Thames, but legally the Port of London is 
* Redman, Institution of Civil Engineers. 



THE BASIN OF THE THAMES. 



151 



bounded by a line drawn from the North Foreland through the Gunfleet beacon 
to Harwich Naze. 

The littoral region which bounds the estuary of the Thames to the north and 
south has undergone frequent changes during the historical epoch. The sea 
gains almost incessantly upon the coasts of Suffolk and Norfolk, advancing at a 
speed of 6 to 15 feet annually. Towns have been compelled to retreat inland, 
and the old church of Eccles-by-the-Sea is now buried beneath sand piled up 
by the waves.* Elsewhere changes of an opposite kind have taken place. 
Estuaries have become silted up, and ancient seaport towns reduced into agri- 
cultural villages. Beccles, which had a much -frequented port in the fourteenth 
century, now lies 8 miles inland, and the trade which formerly was its own is 

Fig. 83.- The Isle of Thanet. 
Scale 1 : 206.000. 




Dep^^h beyond 
6Pa ■ 



'athoras. 



1 Mile. 



carried on now by the modern town of Lowestoft. f Changes of even greater impor- 
tance have taken place along the coast of Kent, where the geographical features of 
the country have undergone radical alterations since the time of the Romans. The 
ancient church of the Reculvers, which may be seen on a low cliff to the west 
of Margate, bears witness to the erosive action prejdng upon the coast, for the 
Roman city of Regulbm, which subsequently became the capital of a Saxon 
kingdom, stood at a considerable distance from the sea. The waves have gnawed 
the coast, the Roman wall which surrounded the city has for the most part been 
destroyed, and in order to protect the church, which serves as a landmark to 
mariners, from a similar fate, the Admiralty has been obliged to construct a sea- 

* A. Ramsay, " Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain." 
t Rogers ; 0. Peschel, '* Neue Probleme der vergleichenden Erdkunde." 



152 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



wall. But whilst tlie sea encroached at that spot upon the coast, the land else- 
where has gained in extent. The strait which anciently separated the Isle of 
Thanet from the mainland of Kent has been silted up, the old island converted 
into a peninsula, and the river Stour now traverses the site of the old Wantsome, 
or sea-passage, through which foreign ships sometimes passed on their way to 
London. This gain at the north-eastern corner of the county of Kent, however, 
is but small if compared with the loss sustained along the east shore towards the 

Fig. 84. — Goodwin Sands. 
Scale 1 : 175,000. 




E.of G. 





5 to 13 
Fathoms. 



Over 13 
Fathoms. 



close of the eleventh century, in consequence of a terrible hurricane, which also 
ravaged the coasts of Flanders and Holland, That storm, we are told, caused 
the vast estates of Earl Godwin to be swallowed up by the sea, their site 
being marked now by a crescent-shaped bank of sand, which lies about 5 miles 
off Deal, and turns its convex side towards the open sea. Mariners dread these 
sands, for shipwrecks are frequent. The " great storm " of 1703, when four 
men-of-war, with 1,190 souls on board, were lost in a single night, and the 



OXFORDSHIRE. I53 

neighbouring coast was covered with the wreckage of merchantmen, will long 
live in the memory of British sailors. Two attempts have been made to build 
a lighthouse upon this dreaded bank, but the work of man was incapable of 
resisting the power of the waves, and mariners must rest content with light- 
ships and buoys, which mark its contour. The roadstead between the Goodwin 
Sands and Deal is known as the Downs. It affords shelter to vessels during 
storms, and as many as five hundred have been waiting here for favourable weather 
to continue their voyage down Channel or to the north. 

The ten counties lying wholly or for the greater part in the basin of the 
Thames are almost exclusively agricultural. Neither coal nor iron, which might 
have given rise to a manufacturing industry similar to that of the north, is 
found. Yet London, which has gathered within its boundaries more than half 
the population of the whole basin, and a few other towns of less note, are indis- 
putably seats of industry ; and the metropolis, thanks to its noble river, 
its densely packed population, and its command of capital, will always be able 
to maintain its pre-eminence as " universi orbis terrarum emporium." Fishing 
adds to the resources of the counties bordering upon the German Ocean. 

Topography. 

Eastern Gloucestershire and North-eastern Wiltshire are within the basin of 
the Thames, but their principal towns having already been described (see pp. 1 1 7, 
136), we at once pass to a consideration of Oxfordshire. 

Oxfordshire lies to the north of the Thames, between Gloucestershire and 
Buckinghamshire, and consists of level or slightly undulating land, for the most 
part under tillage. The northern portion of the county is occupied by the Edge 
Hills, a continuation of the oolitic Cotswolds, presenting a bold escarpment 
towards the vale of the Avon. These uplands give rise to the Windrush, 
Evenlode, and Cherwell, which flow to the Thames. At Oxford the latter river 
abruptly turns to the south, and passes through a gap at the foot of the Chiltern 
Hills, which occupy the south-eastern corner of the county. Agriculture and 
dairy husbandry are the principal sources of wealth, barley for malting and butter 
being amongst the most important products. The manufactures are unimportant ; 
but if the coal underlying the oolite, and reached by a boring made at Burford, 
should one day be worked, Oxfordshire may be transformed from a purely agri- 
cultural region into a land of manufactures. 

Oxford, in many of its buildings, still presents the features of a mediaBval city. 
It almost looks as if Time had not touched it for four or five centuries. Its monuments 
of the past, however, have not become ruins, for they are maintained with religious 
care, and present the appearance of only having recently left the hands of the 
architect. Still the limestone of which most of them have been constructed 
shows marks of decay, and many a column originally decorated with elaborate 
carvings has become an unshapely mass of stone. This decay, however, has nowhere 
degenerated into ruin, and numerous finely carved facades, with ivy clinging to their 

lor— E 



154 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

projections, may still be seen. Broad lawns surround the old towers and gabled 
buildings with pointed windows, fountains send forth jets of sparkling water 
in the centre of the courts, statues decorate the streets and open places. The city- 
walls, dating back to the eleventh century, can still be traced through almost the 
whole of their course ; but the remains of the castle are reduced to a solitary 
tower, the Norman buildings which occupy its site being of modern date. From 
the banks of the Cherwell or Thames, where the rowing clubs engage in their 
trials of strength, the domes, spires, and stately towers of colleges and churches, 
rising behind masses of dense foliage, form a picture of incomparable beauty. 
The panorama to be enjoyed from the roof of Eadcliffe Library is unique of its 
kind, for we look down upon what appear to be the palaces, monasteries, and 
churches of a mediaeval city. Each of the twenty-five colleges and halls which 
cluster in this seat of learning leads a life of its own, whether it be University 
College, whose foundation dates back to 1264, or Keble College, only opened in 
1870. Each has its special history, and boasts of the possession of ancient charters, 
precious works of art, valued libraries, or other treasures. The buildings occupied 
by several of the colleges are remarkable as works of architecture, foremost in this 
respect being Christ Church, which boasts the noblest hall, and has attached to it 
the cathedral church of Oxford. Each college glories in the men of mark whose 
names appear upon its roll of members. Oxford, more than any other town of 
equal size, has shaped the common destinies of the nation, and many men, illus- 
trious as statesmen or in the history of art and science, have been trained there. 
Yet the power of the ancient university has in most instances been exercised in 
resisting the march of progress. Not a stone can fall at Oxford but is religiously 
replaced by another of exactly the same shape. Similarly there exists not an 
ancient idea or a custom of the olden time which the learned dons, in the retire- 
ment of their time-blackened colleges, do not seek to perpetuate through their 
influence and erudition. Although Wickliffe was one of the professors at Oxford, 
the university offered a most powerful resistance to the spread of Protestantism in 
England, and the learned Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer were burnt to death in 
front of one of the colleges, that of Balliol, in the reign of Queen Mary. At the 
time of the Revolution Oxford took the side of the Royalists, and it was within its 
walls that Charles I. established his head-quarters during the war. Since that time 
Oxford has taken a pride in being looked upon as the stronghold of Conservatism. 
Of late, however, its traditions have received a rude shock. Some of its professors 
and students are being carried along by a current of new ideas, and Oxford may 
now be said to send forth champions who ably represent the most extreme views 
of either side. Nor is there another town where, thanks to the labours of the 
past, arguments in favour of the most opposite views can so readily be commanded ; 
for nowhere else, not even in London, are similar facilities for study concentrated 
within so small an area. Laboratories, libraries, and scientific collfections are 
attached to every college, and, in addition to these, there are the ever-increasing 
collections of the university. The new Natural-History Museum— it was only 
built 1855-60 — is rapidly growing into importance. The ''Taylor Buildings'' 



OXFORDSHIRE. 



155 



contain the university library, whilst the adjoining " Galleries " afford accommo- 
dation to the famous Pomfret marbles and a collection of paintings and drawings, 
most precious amongst which are 162 original designs by Raphael and 79 by 
Michael Angelo. Radcliffe Library, named after its founder, the physician of 
"William III., to whom the university is likewise indebted for its observatory, 
occupies a handsome rotunda, surmounted by a dome rising from an octagonal base. 



Fig. 85. — The Environs of Oxi*^ord. 
Scale 1 : 250.000 




3 Miles. 



The buildings known as the "Schools," which were once used for lectures, in 
which a suite of rooms is set apart for public examinations, are now mainly occu- 
pied by the famous Bodleian Library, thus named after its founder, Dr. Bodley, 
who died in 1612. This collection, one of the largest in the world, for it contains 
400,000 printed volumes and 25,000 MSS., is more especially rich in oriental 
literature, and possesses the MSS, collected by Dr. Clarke on Mount Athos. It is 
entitled to a copy of every work printed in England ; but, like other collections in 



156 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

Oxford, it profits by the donations which accrue to it through wealthy graduates, 
who keep their alma mater in fond remembrance. Jointly the various libraries of 
Oxford contain more than a million volumes, or nearly as many as the British 
Museum ; but it is matter for regret that these treasures should be available only 
to members of the university and foreigners whose studies compel them to do 
homage in this sanctuary of science. During vacations the libraries are almost 
completely deserted. It is at such a time that the fact of Oxford's native insignifi- 
cance is most strikingly brought home to us. Without its two thousand under- 
graduates and the herd of hangers-on who minister to their wants, the town would 
resemble a desert, and grass would grow in its streets. 

The environs of Oxford abound in pretty villages and interesting localities. 
At Cuddesdon, 5 miles to the south-east, are the Bishop's Palace and an ecclesias- 
tical Training College. Nuneham Courtney, the seat of the Harcourts, occupies a 
wooded height overlooking the river 5 miles to the south of Oxford, its park of 
1,200 acres abounding in fine trees. Woodstock, 8 miles to the north-north-west, 
is an early residence of the Kings of England, where Henry II. made the bower 
for his fair Hosamond. Not a trace remains of the old palace. Blenheim Park, 
which was presented to the Duke of Marlborough in recognition of his famous 
victory of 1704, adjoins the town. Its mansion contains a valuable collection of 
paintings, whilst the beautifully diversified park abounds in old oaks and cedars, 
and is stocked with deer and kangaroos. Woodstock is known for its gloves ; 
whilst Witney, an ancient town 6 miles to the south-west of it, on the Windrush, 
enjoys some reputation for its blankets. Burford, higher up on the Windrush, 
is an old market town, with an interesting church ; whilst Bampton-in-the-Bush, in 
the south-west, has the remains of a castle. Spelshury, on the Upper Evenlode, 
was the birthplace of Sir John Franklin, the arctic navigator, in whose honour 
a monument has been placed in front of the town-hall. Chipping Norton is 
a quiet market town, near the western border of the county. The neighbour- 
ing village of Churchill was the birthplace of William Smith, the father of modern 
geology, who thus passed his childhood at the foot of those oolitic hills which are 
so rich in the fossils which subsequently he studied to such great advantage. 

Ascending the Cherwell for 25 miles above Oxford, we reach Banbury, a clean 
old town, with quaint houses and the remains of a Roman amphitheatre 
known as the " Bear Hing." Banbury is famed in the w^orld of gastronomy for its 
cakes, cream cheese, and ale. The battle of Edgehill, in which Charles I. was 
defeated by the Parliamentary forces under the Earl of Essex, was fought 7 miles 
to the north of it. Bicester and Thame, both towards the Bucks frontier — the 
one to the east of the Cherwell, the other on the navigable Thame — are prosperous 
market towns. Bicester, moreover, is noted for its ale. Near it, on Akeman 
Street, are the ruins of the Roman city of ^lia Castra, or Alcester. 

Descending the river below Oxford, we reach Dorchester, at the mouth of the 

* There are 53 University professors and teachers, 385 Fellows of Colleges, and nearly 2,000 under- 
graduates. The University has an income from external sources of £15,000. the Colleges and Halls of 
£307,000. The 439 benefices in the gift of the latter have an annual value of £187.660. Out of this 
income £132,000 is paid to heads and fellows of colleges, £26,000 to scholars and exhibitioners. 



BERKSHIRE. I57 

Thame, which was the seat of a bishopric from the seventh to the eleventh 
century, but is now a place of no importance. Keeping the Chiltern Hills on our 
left, we pass from the upper into the lower basin of the Thames, and reach Henley, 
delightfully situated on a gentle declivity, amid hills covered with beech woods. 
A handsome stone bridge here spans the river. Henley is the head-quarters of 
aquatic sports on the Upper Thames. 

Berkshire lies to the south of the Thames, which separates it from Oxfordshire 
and Buckinghamshire. Its surface is beautifully diversified. The rivers Ock and 
Kennet intersect the county from west to east. The vale of the Ock, known also 
as that of the White Horse, from a gigantic figure of a horse rudely carved on an 
overhanging escarpment of chalk, is the most fruitful district of the county. A 
range of chalk downs separates this valley from that of the " Kennet swift, for 
silver eels renowned." Here the soil is less productive, being for the most part 
gravelly, and a good deal of peat is found. The eastern part of the county, 
beyond the river Loddon, contains Windsor Forest and Bagshot Heath, and is 
characterized by its woods and forests. Berks enjoys a considerable reputation as 
a dairying and grazing county, the former being most successfully practised in the 
western part of the vale of the White Horse. Most of the cheese made is of the 
description called double Gloucester. 

Faringdon, an old residence of the Saxon kings, occupies a sheltered position near 
the head of the river Ock, the hill above it commanding a fine view of the valley 
of the Thames and of the Berkshire Downs, White Horse Hill, with its gigantic 
steed, forming a conspicuous object. Wantage, on a branch of the Ock, and at the 
foot of the downs, is celebrated as the birthplace of Alfred the Great. AshdoM^n, 
to the south, where the Saxon king defeated the Danes, is covered with numerous 
earthworks. Though situated within a purely agricultural district, Wantage 
enjoys some reputation on account of its grammar school. It also boasts a fine 
church of the fourteenth century, and feels some pride, too, in having given birth 
to Bishop Butler, the author of the '' Analogy." Abingdon, at the union of 
the Ock with the Thames, here joined by the Berks and Wilts Canal, which 
brings the town into communication with Bath and Bristol, carries on a brisk 
trade in corn and malt. Of the old abbey, founded m the seventh century, there 
now exist only insignificant remains. The churches and public buildings are 
deserving of attention. The pretty village of Sunningivell lies within a couple 
of miles of the town. From the tower of its old church Eoger Bacon is said 
to have made his astronomical observations. Culham College, for the training of 
schoolmasters, lies on the other side of the Thames, in Oxfordshire. 

Lamhourn and Ikley are the principal market-towns in the Berkshire Downs, 
which at the ancient municipal borough of Wallingford approach close to the 
Thames. 

The Kennet, on first entering the county from Wiltshire, waters the old town 
of Hungerford, a favourite resort of the angler, the river being famous for its 
trout, and the fisheries yielding a handsome revenue to the corporation. The 
Kennet and Avon Canal passes the town. It affords the most direct line of 



J5Q THE BEITISH ISLES. 

communication by water between London and Bristol, and many of the bulky 
articles of commerce pass along it. Newhury, lower down the Kennet, is built on 
a peat bed. Battles took place near it, in 1643 and 1644, during the Cml War. 
In the neighbourhood are Donnington Castle and Shaw House— the latter, not- 
withstanding the injury it suffered during the war, the most stately Elizabethan 

mansion in the county. 

Reading, a flourishing commercial town, stands on the river Kennet, 1 mile 

Fig. 86.— Reading. 
From the Ordnance Survey. Scale 1 : 6.S,366. 




above its junction with the Thames It is a place of considerable historical fame, 
battles having been fought in its neighbourhood, and Parliaments held within its 
walls. But the only object likely to interest the antiquary is the remains of a 
Benedictine abbey founded in 1121, and converted by Henry VIII. into a royal 
palace. At the present day Reading is known chiefly on account of its biscuit 
factory, which dispatches train-loads of them daily to every quarter of the 
globe. There does not probably exist an article of food more widely dispersed 



BEEKSHIEE. 



159 



than Reading biscuits, for they are eaten everywhere, from Alaska to New 
Zealand, and from Greenland to the Cape of Good Hope. Reading also exports 
seeds for flowers, and has an iron foundry. 

Below the " Town of Biscuits " the Loddon, born in the North Downs, not 
far from Basingstoke, mingles its water with that of the Thames. The country 



Fig. 87. — Windsor. 
Scale 1 : 55,000. 




0'34' 



1 Mile. 



beyond that river is to a great extent covered with woods. Wokingham, formerly 
known as Oakingham, lies on the verge of the ancient royal forest, and up to 
1821 was noted for bull-baiting. Near it are Wellington College, for the educa- 
tion of officers' sons, and the Royal Military College of Sandhurst, both on the 
road to the camp of Aldershot (see p. 141). 



IgO THE BRITISH ISLES. 

The Thames, between Reading and Windsor, passes through some of the most 
lovely scenery to be met with in England. Princely mansions are numerous in 
this favoured region, most prominent amongst them being Cliefden, the seat of 
the Duke of Westminster, opposite the charming village of Cookham, on the 
Buckinghamshire bank of the river. Maidenhead, the centre of this attractive 
district, is more especially noted for the beauty of the surrounding scenery. Near 
it stands the church of Brayy known through its versatile vicar, who, true to his 
principle, '' to live and die the Vicar of Bray," never hesitated to change his 
religion. 

After winding through the verdant plain below Maidenhead, the Thames 
strikes the foot of a scarped hill crowned by Windsor Castle, the only sumptuous 
palace of the sovereign of England, and one of the most extensive and picturesque 
piles of buildings in the world. The all- surmounting Round Tower, or Keep ; the 
pinnacles of the beautiful St. George's Chapel showing above the walls ; the crenel- 
lated towers of unequal height, which break the monotony of the enceinte ; luxuriant 
trees hiding the foot of the walls and clothing the slopes of the hill down to the 
banks of the river ; and last, not least, the town nestling beneath the innumerable 
gables and towers of the castle — all these make up a most charming picture. This 
is indeed the residence, not of one sovereign, but of a whole line of kings, who 
from century to century employed their wealth in the embellishment of the home 
of their ancestors. William the Conqueror was the first to raise a fortress on this 
spot. Edward III., who here founded the Order of the Garter in 1349, almost 
entirely reconstructed it, and since his time nearly every sovereign has added to 
this pile of buildings. The castle consists of two great divisions, the Lower 
and the Upper Ward, separated by the Round Tower, formerly a place of 
confinement for prisoners of state. Several portions of the palace are exquisite 
specimens of architecture, St. George's Chapel being most notable in this respect. 
It is one of the finest existing examples of the perpendicular style, most richly 
decorated, and not unworthy of being the burial-place of seven Kings of England. 
The entire castle forms a vast museum, abounding in pictures, statues, tapestry, 
and works of art of every kind, presented to or purchased by its royal occupants. 
In the state apartments we find ourselves surrounded by precious works of art, 
tastefully displayed to the best advantage. One room contains an unrivalled 
collection of twenty-two portraits by Vandyck ; another is devoted to works by 
Rubens. The Waterloo Chamber is decorated with portraits, mostly painted by 
Sir Thomas Lawrence, of the chief persons who bore a prominent part in the 
Congress of Vienna. The collection of drawings by ancient masters is perhaps the 
richest in the world, and the library contains many works of inestimable value. 
It would be difficult to discover a more cheerful place for study, for the wide bow 
windows, suspended as it were above the terrace walks, look out upon one of the 
most charming landscapes of England, with the Thames pursuing its devious course 
through verdant meadows. 

Looking across the river, we perceive the clock tower, chapel, and other 
buildings of Eton College. The village of Eton is in Buckinghamshire, joined to 



BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. 161 

Windsor by an iron bridge, and virtually a suburb of it. At this school the 
flower of the English nobility and gentry are educated, and its muster-roll of 
eminent scholars is worthy of the position it has attained. The college was 
founded in 1440 by Henry YI. for the support of twenty-five poor grammar 
scholars, and the like number of poor men, who were to pray for the King. In 
the course of time, however, it has grown into the most aristocratic school of 
England.* 

The delights of the environs of Windsor have inspired the muse of England's 
poets since the days of Shakspere. Historical associations abound. It was not 
far from Windsor, at Eunnymead, that King John was forced, in 1215, to sign the 
Charter, which for ever limited the royal prerogatives. The large park which 
adjoins the castle abounds in delightful walks and drives through forest scenery, 
and is stocked with herds of deer. The " Long Walk," an avenue of noble elms, 
3 miles in length, traverses it, and terminates on Snow Hill, which is sur- 
mounted by Westmacott's equestrian statue of George III. Three miles farther 
is a much-admired artificial lake, known as Virginia Water. The famous race- 
course of Ascot adjoins this park on the south. Frogmore House and the 
magnificently decorated mausoleum of the Prince Consort are in the Home Park, 
to the east of the castle. Manor Lodge, in the Great Park, has recently been 
converted into a manufactory of tapestry, directed by French workmen. 

Buckinghamshire, which derives its name from the beeches abounding in its 
woods, forms a narrow slip of land, extending from the Thames northward into 
the basin of the Ouse. The chalky downs of the Chiltern range cross the southern 
part of the county, and separate the beautifully diversified tract of country 
bordering upon the Thames from the fruitful vale of Aylesbury. This vale, noted 
for its dairy farms, is drained by the river Thame, and bounded on the north by a 
range of sandy hills, beyond which lies that part of the county which is drained by 
the Ouse and its tributaries. Agriculture, dairy-farming, and the raising of 
poultry are the principal -occupations of the people, in addition to which the manu- 
facture of pillow lace, paper, straw plait, boots, and wooden chairs is carried on. 

Great Marlow, the principal town on the Thames, is here spanned by a suspen- 
sion bridge. A few miles to the north of it, in a delightful valley of the Chiltern 
Hills, surrounded by villas and shrubberies, lies High or Chipping Wycombe, 
one of the leading manufacturing towns of the county, producing paper, wooden 
(Windsor) chairs, pillow lace, parchment, and plaited straw. It has the finest and 
largest church in Buckinghamshire. Two miles to the north of it is Hughenden, 
the residence of the Earl of Beaconsfield, whose title is derived from the neighbour- 
ing market town of Beaconsfield, a place of some trade : Burke and Waller the 
poet are buried there. 

The Thames between Great Marlow and Windsor is studded Mdth villas and 
mansions, most prominent amongst them being princely Cliefden, already men- 
tioned, and Dropmore, whose delightful grounds abound in exotic pine-trees, 

* At present there are 70 foundation or King's Scholars (Collegers) admitted after a competitive 
examination, who are lodged and boarded in the college, and 880 " Oppidans." 



162 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

unequalled in size. Slough, a growing town close to Eton, has brick-yards and 
nursery grounds, but is more widely known as tbe place where Sir William 
Herschel resided for forty years. Here he constructed his forty-foot telescope, 
and here he died in 1822. Stoke Poges, a pretty village, is close by. It is the 
burial-place of Gray, the poet, and the scene of his " Elegy." In a neighbouring 
park a colossal monument has been raised to Sir Edwin Coke, Lord Chief Justice 
of England. Amersham, a small municipal borough in the valley of the Misbourne, 
amidst wooded hills, manufactures wooden chairs and straw plait. Near it are 
Chesham, in the fertile valley of the Chess, a famous trout stream, with its paper- 
mills, and the village of Chalfont St. Giles, where stands the house in which 
Milton wrote " Paradise Regained." 

Crossing the Chiltern Hills, we reach Aylesbury, on an eminence looking down 
upon its fertile vale, the county town, where the assizes and quarter sessions are 
held. It carries on a large business in preserved milk, butter, and straw plait, 
and sends ducklings and turkeys to London in enormous numbers. Wendover 
and Prince's Rishorough lie at the northern foot of the Chiltern Hills. The first 
named manufactures pillow lace, straw plait, and coaches ; the latter is a flourish- 
ing market town. Hampden House, the home of John Hampden the patriot, Hes 
near it. Brill, on the border of Oxfordshire, had formerly a royal palace, and 
King Henry II. and Henry III. kept their courts there. A mineral spring rises 
near it. 

The northern portion of the county is traversed by the Ouse, and nearly all 
its towns are seated upon that river. Chief amongst these is Buckingham, the 
former county town. It is an old place, but with few remains of antiquity, 
having suffered greatly from a fire in 1724. In its neighbourhood is Stowe, the 
princely seat of the Duke of Buckingham. The Ouse, in its onward course, flows 
past Stony- Stratford, Wolverton, Newport Pagnel, and Olney. Pillow lace is made 
in all these places. At Wolverton there are extensive railway-engine shops; 
Newport Pagnel has breweries and paper-mills ; and at Olney the poet Cowper 
spent most of his days. Fenny -Stratford is the principal place in the valley of the 
Ousel, which joins the Ouse at Newport Pagnel. It occupies the site of Magio- 
vinium, and is traversed by Watling Street. Winslow is the principal town on the 
road from Buckingham to Aylesbury. 

Hertfordshire lies almost wholly within the area occupied by the chalky 
upland extending eastward from the Chiltern Hills. In the north-west this 
range forms a steep escarpment towards the plain of Bedford, whilst in the 
opposite direction it slopes gently down to the low counties of Middlesex and Essex. 
The principal rivers are the Colne and the Lea, both flowing into the Thames. A 
small portion of the county, along its north-western border, is drained by the Ivel, 
which is tributary to the Ouse. Agriculture is the leading occupation. 

St. Albans, the principal town in the basin of the Colne, stands on rising 
ground on the left bank of the Yer, or Mure, which is the main upper branch of 
that river. For its historical associations it is the most interesting town in the 
vicinity of London. Of the Roman town of Verulamium, or Verulam, from which 



HERTFOEDSHIEE. 



163 



Lord Bacon derived his title, there remain now only insignificant vestiges, though 
at one time it was the most populous Roman town in the south of England. Its 
chief interest now centres in the church of an abbey founded in 793 by Offa, King 
of the Mercians, in expiation of the share he took in the murder of Ethelbert. The 
abbey was dedicated to St. Alban, the protomartyr of England, who was executed 
here in 303 for having sheltered a Christian priest. The abbey church, recently 
restored, is the largest and one of the grandest edifices of the kind in England, and 
its oldest portions date back to the eleventh century. ' In 1875 St. Albans became 
the seat of a bishopric. Gorhamhury, the seat of the Earl of Yerulam, which 
was purchased in 1550 by the father of the great Chancellor, stands near the town, 
in the midst of a fine park. 

Watford, on the Colne, consists of a long street, and carries on the manufacture 
of paper. Near it is Cassiohury, the seat of the Earl of Essex, with a valuable 
library, an interesting collection of portraits, and one of the finest parks in 
England. Ascending the valley of the Gade, along which the Grand Junction 
Canal takes its course, we reach the market towns of Hemel-Hempstead, Berkham- 
sted, and Tring, the latter at an elevation of 420 feet above the level of the sea. 
Malting and the manufacture of straw plait and of chairs are carried on at these 
places. Berkhamsted was the birthplace of Cowper, the poet. Bickmansworth, 
near the junction of the Chess with the Colne, has important paper-mills. Straw- 
plaiting and horsehair weaving are among the domestic occupations, and water- 
cress is largely grown for the London market. 

Hatfield is the first town washed by the river Lea in its course through the 
county. It is a quiet, old-fashioned place, with a church of Norman foundation, 
overshadowed by the magnificent Jacobean mansion of the Marquis of Salisbury. 
The surrounding park abounds in noble trees, and a carefully kept vineyard is 
amongst its curiosities. Hertford, the county town, on the Lea, carries on a 
brisk trade in corn and malt. It has the remains of an old castle and a branch 
school of Christ's Hospital. Near it is Panshanger, the seat of Earl Cowper, 
with a valuable collection of paintings, more especially rich in examples of the 
Florentine school. Ware, also on the Lea, is the largest malting town in England, 
and malt-houses form its most conspicuous feature. In its southward course the 
Lea flows past Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Cheshunt, and Waltham Cross, beyond 
which latter it enters the county of Middlesex. Broxbourne and Rye House, near 
Hoddesdon, are the best fishing stations on the river. Rye House is a favourite 
goal of London excursionists. It was the scene of the plot of 1683 for setting 
aside the succession of the Duke of York. Cheshunt is a straggling village, with 
extensive nurseries, and here the New River Company has a reservoir which stores 
75,000,000 gallons of water. 

Bishop Stortford, on the Stort, an affluent of the Lea, and close to the eastern 
border of the county, has malting-houses, breweries, and tan-yards. Chipping or 
High Barnet, in a commanding position to the west of the Lea, is noteworthy on 
account of a battle fought there in 1471, which cost Warwick the King-maker his 
life. An obelisk marks the site of this memorable event. 



164 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

Hitchin and Baldock are the only towns in that part of the county which slopes 
down to the Ouse. The former is important as a corn market, and engages in the 
manufacture of straw plait ; the latter boasts a church founded by the Templars in 
the thirteenth century. 

Middlesex takes its name from those Saxons who settled in this " middle '* 
district. Though one of the smallest counties in England, it exceeds in population 
all others, for within its limits lies the chief part of the metropolis. By the side 
of London all other towns of the county dwindle into insignificance, nine-tenths of 
its population being embraced within the limits of the metropolis. The Thames 
divides Middlesex from Surrey, the Colne separates it from Buckinghamshire, the 
Lea forms its eastern boundary towards Essex, whilst the Brent intersects its centre. 
A range of chalk downs runs along the northern border, but the greater part of 
the surface consists of gravel, loam, or clay, and is diversified by hills and gentle 
undulations, which form a screen to the north of London, attaining its greatest 
elevation (440 feet) in Hampstead Heath. By far the largest portion of the 
county is in grass, the meadows along the Lea being particularly rich. Along the 
Thames much land is occupied by market gardens and nurseries. 

Staines, on the left bank of the Thames, at its confluence with the Colne, marks 
the extreme extent of the jurisdiction of the conservators of the Thames, the 
boundary-stone bearing the date of 1280. This stone stands 36| miles above London 
Bridge. Descending past the villages of Laleham, Ohertsey, Shepperton, Walton, 
and Sunbury, we enter a portion of its valley famed for its sylvan scenery. Below 
the village oi Hampton, where Garrick had his country seat till his death in 1779, and 
which is the head-quarters of the Thames Angling Preservation Society, the gardens 
of Hampton Court extend close to the river bank. This palace, built by Cardinal 
Wolsey, who was compelled to surrender it to his master, Henry YIII., is at 
present appropriated as a place of residence for court pensioners. A considerable 
portion of the palace is, however, set apart as a picture gallery and museum. 
Besides a good many paintings of inferior value, there are displayed here some 
undoubted masterpieces. Most prominent amongst these are the portraits by 
Velasquez, Holbein, Titian, Yandyck, Gainsborough, aiid Lawrence. The fine 
gardens are laid out in the manner of those of Versailles, but cannot compare with 
them in the magnificence of their perspectives. Bushey Park, with its unrivalled 
triple avenue of limes and horse-chestnuts, over a mile long, lies to the north of 
Hampton Court. Passing through this park, we arrive at Teddington, at the head 
of the tide, and virtually one of the suburbs of the great city, though not embraced 
within its boundaries. Thence onward country seats, in the midst of grounds 
famous for the beauty of their trees, become numerous. Twickenham, opposite Eel 
Pie Island, a famous resort of Thames anglers and picnic parties, is especially 
favoured in this respect. Strawberry Hill, the castellated mansion built by 
Horace Walpole in 1747, lies above this delightful village ; Orleans House, from 
1852 — 71 the residence of the Due d'Aumale, but at present the home of an aristo- 
cratic club, below it. Near the latter stood Pope's famous villa. Passing Isle- 
worthy near which stands Sion House, the residence of the Duke of Northumber- 



Scale, 1:370,000 



LONDON ANDTHE 




^OFTHE THAMES 



10 Miles 




-E 



Tipfree Heath 








'^^ Jt^h:^$^i»*.Po,at 












jI^"^ 



lATI 



^r/^rn 



X, 



^mbam 
Wewingtou 



.^ 



bnley it 



> J SbeJlness P* 
Harh l"^ / 



'-"^f;'^ .:./.% A 






Hprne Bay 






Fordwich 



can: 



"/>»i 



>utiti)n Valence 



JS^dce 




Chilham' 



( '.^f-lf 






f^* Bridle 






60' 



i'ON 8c C? 



LONDON. 165 

land, on the site of an ancient monastery, we reacli Brentford^ at the mouth of the 
Brent, an important river port, with saw-mills, malt-houses, breweries, chemical 
works, and soap factories. Kew, with its famous botanical gardens, lies on the 
Surrey side of the river. Chistvick is noted for the nursery gardens of the Royal 
Horticultural Society, the palladian villa of the Duke of Devonshire, in which 
Charles James Fox died in 1806, and George Canning in 1827, and the tomb of 
William Hogarth, in the parish church. The house in which Hogarth spent 
his summers for many years is now let in tenements. Fulham, with its ancient 
church and an episcopal palace, the summer residence of the Bishop of London, 
lies within the precincts of the metropolis. 

A chaplet of ever- increasing suburbs, extending from the Thames to the Lea, 
encircles London towards the west and north. They include Ealing; Acton; Hamp- 
stead, with its breezy heath ; Ilighgate, affording the best view of the metropolis ; 
Hornsey, which still retains some of its primitive features, and near which, on 
Muswell Hill, has been raised the gigantic structure of the Alexandra Palace ; 
Tottenham ; and Edmonton, the latter in the flat and clayey country bordering upon 
the Lea. At Colney Hatch, to the north of Hornsey, is one of the lunatic asylums 
of the county of Middlesex, and still farther north, on the banks of the New 
Eiver, formed by Sir Hugh Myddelton to supply London with water, and fed by 
springs and chalk wells, there rises the straggling town of Enfield, interesting on 
account of its Royal Small Arms Factory. 

There still remain to be mentioned a few towns in the western portion of the 
county. Of these Harrow-on-the-Hill is the most noteworthy. It is famous for 
its church, rising on the summit of an isolated hill, commanding a most extensive 
prospect, and its school, founded in 1571. At Hounslow, in the neighbourhood of 
Brentford and the Thames, there are cavalry barracks and powder-mills. The 
adjoining heath was formerly a favourite resort of highwaymen. Hamvell, on the 
Brent, is known for its county lunatic asylum, which affords accommodation to 
1,750 patients. 

Uxhridge, an ancient borough, on the Colne, has important cattle fairs. In 
1645 the commissioners of Charles I. and the Parliament met there to negotiate 
a treaty for peace. 

LONDON, the capital of England and metropolis of the British Empire, is the 
most populous city in the world. It is probable that no other city ever existed 
which could compare with it in the number of inhabitants. Neither Babylon nor 
Memphis, nor any of the great cities of China, ever contained an equal number 
within their walls ; and if Rome and Byzantium, the two metropolitan cities of 
the ancient world, could have been united into one when they were at the height of 
their prosperity, their population would nevertheless have been but small, compared 
with the multitudes who have established themselves in the capital of England.* 

♦ The most populous cities of the world, next to London, are— New York, with Brooklyn, &c., 
1,980,000 inhabitants; Paris, 1,8-51,792 inhabitants; Berlin, 1,085,000 inhabitants; Vienna, 1,001,999 
inhabitants; Canton, Siang-tau, Singanfu, and Chang-chau-fu in China, with 1,000,000 inhabitants 
each; Tientsin. 930,000 inhabitants; Calcutta (with Howrah), 992,000 inhabitants; and Philadelphia, 
850,000 inhabitants. 



166 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



London has often been likened to a province covered with houses. If we hut 
enter this labyrinth of streets, we feel as if steam-power alone were able to extri- 
cate us. Even the hardiest pedestrian yields to fatigue when traversing this 
interminable city. Street follows street, and the chance of obtaining a glimpse 
of the horizon appears to be a remote one. Houses without end, factories, railway 
stations, villas, gardens, and blind brick walls succeed each other in this huge hive 
of humanity. Even in the midst of the fields or in the outlying parks we 
feel that London still surrounds us, for on all sides the houses line the great 



Fig. 88. — Annual Increase of Population in Thirty-one Cities op Europe. 
According to Dunant. 




highways which join the metropolis to its more remote suburbs. Starting 
from the western extremity of the metropolis, we can walk successively through 
Hammersmith, Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, and Twickenham without ever 
leaving the houses behind us. A road, parallel to the former, connects Shepherd's 
Bush with Acton and Ealing. The northern suburbs, Hampstead, Highgate, 
Hornsey, Tottenham, and Edmonton, advance far into the open country like the 
arms of a gigantic polype. Similarly, when travelling south or south-westward, 
we reach Dulwich after we have passed through Brixton; then follow Sydenham, 
Norwood, and Croydon, and though we extend our walk for a distance of 12 miles, 



LONDON. 167 

as far as Epsom, one group of houses succeeds the other, and only at intervals do 
we catch a glimpse of what can truly be described as " country." Thousands are 
born in London, live and die there, whose horizon has ever been bounded by bricks 
and mortar. The only forests they have seen are the plantations in the public 
squares, and the sky above them has ever been tarnished by the smoke ascending 
from innumerable chimneys. 

It is by no means easy to ascertain the real extent of London, and to settle 
upon a boundary which may fairly claim to embrace the whole of it. Officially 
there are no less than seventeen distinct Londons, each differing from the other in 
area and delimitation. Every public department has traced boundaries and 
subdivided the area included within them to suit its own convenience, and the 
population of the metropolis differs to the extent of several hundred thousand 
souls, according to whether we accept one or the other of these divisions, the most 
extensive of all being the London of the Police authorities, which includes all 
Middlesex, together with Kent and Surrey, within a circuit of 12 miles.* 

The concentration of so great a multitude of human beings is explained by the 
evident advantages of London's geographical position. The site which it occupies 
has made it a great agricultural market, a place of transit for passengers and 
merchandise, a fluvial and maritime port, and a city of commerce centrally situated 
with reference to all parts of the world. It enjoys every possible advantage except 
that of a serene sky. 

London is, above all, the natural outlet of the rich valley of the Thames, the 
most fertile of England, and that which is most accessible throughout the year. 
The deep yet gentle river which drains that basin has from time immemorial 
carried on its back the produce intended for the maritine emporium established 
at the head of its estuary. No other town along the river could have taken 
the place of London in this respect. Near it the last hills die away on either 
side, and communication between the two banks is still easy. Lower down the 
Thames winds between marshy banks, frequently flooded, and finally expands into 
a wide gulf. Crossing the latter was sometimes attended with danger, and 
frequently the dwellers on the Ijower Thames, desirous of crossing from shore to 
shore, preferred to journey up to London in order that they might effect their 
purpose with ease and safety. Its site presented peculiar facilities for the 
establishment of ferries and the construction of bridges, in addition to which it 
afforded considerable security against foreign aggression. Like Paris, it is pro- 
tected by the winding reaches of its river, and this is a capital advantage in the 

* Area and population of London within the under-mentioned limits : — 



Parliamentary boroughs 

Registrar-General's District . 

District of the Illetropolitan Board of Work- 

Postal Districts 

School Board District .... 
Metropolitan and City Police Districts . 
In 1880 London within the Registrar- General's limits had a population of 3,680,000 souls. 



Area. 


Inhabitants. 


Sq. Miles. 


1861. 


1871. 


60 


2,640,253 


3,024,066 


118 


2,803,989 


3,254,'260 


122 


2,808,862 


3,266.987 


452 


2,967,956 


3,536,129 


— 


— 


3,265,005 


687 


3,222,720 


3,883,092 



168 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

case of a town standing at the head of a wide estuary, open to the fleets of an 
enemy. It proved to be so, at all events, when the Dutch under De Ruyter 
were forced to retire baffled, after having produced a great panic, but done little 
harm. 

Even looked at merely with reference to the other parts of the island, London 
enjoys a natural pre-eminence, which has become more conspicuous from century to 
century in proportion as the means of inland communication have expanded. The 
position of London relatively to the sea-coast and the continent of Europe 
substantially enhances the sources of its prosperity. The configuration of the 
estuary of the Thames is most happily adapted to the purposes of commerce. 
Wider than the estuary of the Humber ; deeper, more secure, and less encumbered 
with sand-banks than the bay of the Wash, the huge cavity filled by the mari- , 
time Thames is admirably fitted as a harbour of refuge for the vessels which 
crowd the neighbouring seas. Moreover, this outer roadstead of London lies 
near the south-eastern corner of England — that is to say, close to the strait which 
joins the North Sea to the English Channel — and London in consequence has 
become the great mart of the two opposing streams of commerce which pass 
through this strait. Just as the two tidal currents, the one coming straight from the 
Atlantic, the other wheeling round the northern extremity of the British Islands, 
meet in this locality and produce a tide of double the ordinary height, so does the 
maritime traffic of the Channel mingle with that of Northern Europe in the 
port of London. Without this common centre of exchange neither would have 
attained its present importance. 

The position of London is equally favourable in relation to the more remote 
parts of Europe and the other continents. As long as England was only feebly 
peopled by four or five million inhabitants, whose energies were almost perpetually 
being wasted in civil wars, London was unable to profit from the advantages 
which it possessed as an international emporium. But no sooner had England made 
up her mind to share in the wealth resulting from maritime enterprise than the 
geographical superiority of the Thames as a port at once revealed itself. London 
lies very nearly in the centre of the maritime regions of Europe, half-way between 
the Strait of Gibraltar and the North Cape of Scandinavia, whilst at the same 
time it occupies the centre of gravity of the great continental land masses. It is 
the natural point of departure for vessels trading either with the two Americas or 
the extreme East and the world of the Pacific. The great lines of navigation 
converge upon it from every quarter of the globe. The Mayor of London who 
ironically asked the King, who had threatened to remove the seat of his government, 
whether the citizens would be permitted to keep the Thames, had an inkling of 
the advantages London possessed as an international port long before they had 
fully revealed themselves. 

London was already a town of some importance during the dominion of the 
Romans, for Tacitus refers to it as being famous for its commerce and the resort of 
numerous strangers. During the Middle Ages London grew but slowly, and 
its progress was repeatedly arrested by wars, commercial crises, and epidemics. Up 



LONDON. 



169 



to'the beginning of the eighteenth century Paris equalled it in population, and had 
no doubt surpassed it at various preceding epochs. But no sooner had England 
gained a footing in India, which gave London a fresh source of wealth through its 
commerce with the East, than the city on the Thames rapidly and definitely 
passed ahead of its rival on the Seine. Its population of scarcely over half 
a million souls in the beginning of the eighteenth century rose to nearly a million 
in the course of the succeeding hundred years, and has quadrupled since. The 
average normal increase, which during the preceding decade annually amounted 
to 45,000 souls, exceeds at present 60,000. This increase is the same as if a village 
of 170 inhabitants sprang daily from the ground, to be added to the existing 

Fig. 89. — The Growth of London. 
Scale 1 : 178,500. 




2 MUes. 



agglomeration of buildings and human beings. On an average a new house is 
built every hour of the day or night, and added to the 500,000 existing houses 
of the metropolis.* The absorption of the country by the great city proceeds with 
the inexorability of a natural phenomenon. The ''ocean of bricks and mortar" 
expands without cessation, like the surface of a lake which has broken its embank- 
ments. And whilst London increases in extent, sending forth shoots in all 
directions like certain trees, the villages around it gradually grow into towns, until 
they are swallowed up by the overflowing metropolis. Three hundred years ago 

* In 1878 17,127 new houses were built within the district of the Metropolitan Police, and 352 
streets, with a total length of 55 miles, were opened to the public. 
108— E 



170 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

the City and Westminster became one ; Greenwich and Woolwich are attached to 
their powerful neighbour by bands of houses ; and Croydon, Wimbledon, Putney, 
Kichmond, Kingston, Brentford, and other more remote towns and villages are on 
the point of losing their individual character and becoming suburbs of the all- 
devouring city. We smile now when told of the severe edict published 
by Queen Elizabeth which forbade the erection of any building whatsoever within 
3 miles of London and Westminster, and required the demolition of all sheds 
constructed within the previous seven years, and of all buildings not then completed. 
And yet in 1602, when the Queen, dreading the mischief likely to arise from a 
further increase of the metropolis, sought to stop it for ever after by her edict, 
London had not the fifteenth part of its present population. Actually the 25,000 
streets of London, if placed end to end, would stretch across Europe and Asia as 
far as the southern extremity of British India. 

In the course of its expansion, at the expense of fields, meadows, and woods, 
London, like Paris, has converted its streams and rivulets into covered sewers. 
The Fleet has disappeared altogether, but its ancient course can still be traced by 
following the low-lying streets in the western part of the City. The Old Bourne, 
now corrupted into Holborn, was one of its feeders, and by its mouth the 
Thames formed a small harbour. The winding rivulet, on the banks of which 
stood Tyburn Tree, so often referred to in the history of England, has likewise 
disappeared for the greater part of its course, but it continues to feed a pretty 
sheet of water in Hyde Park. In the heart of London we only meet with a few 
trees to remind us of external nature, but the names of streets and districts, such 
as Hatton Garden, Spitalfields, and others, recall a time when there existed 
gardens famous for their roses and strawberries, and preserves in which the Lord 
Mayor and the Aldermen hunted the stag.* Most of the modern quarters of the 
town are laid out in such a manner as to enclose here and there a bit of veritable 
country, with clumps of trees, shrubberies, carefully kept lawns, and herds of 
browsing sheep. To these parks f and squares, and to the thousands of gardens 
attached to private houses, the town is indebted for much pure air and light. The 
removal of the primitive fortifications which formerly engirdled the City has 
allowed London to expand freely in all directions. Instead of raising tenement 
upon tenement, as in Paris, houses of moderate size have been reared side by side, 
and only in the business quarters has space been utilised to the full extent of its 
capacity. Thus, though the population of London is only double that of Paris, 
the area it covers is at least five times as great, and its inhabitants obtain a larger 
supply of respirable air. On an average every house in London is inhabited by 
seven or eight persons. J 

* Thornbury and Walford, " Old and New London." 

t The thirteen parks of London cover an area of 2,223 acres— the West-end parks, from Whitehall 
to Kensington, embracing 788 acres. 

X Average number of persons to each inhabited house in the metropolitan counties : — 



Middlesex . 
Surrey- 
Kent . 
England and Wales 



1851. 


1861. 


1871. 


7-9 


7-9 


7-9 


6-3 


6-4 


6-6 


6-7 


5-8 


5-6 


55 


5-4 


6-3 



LONDON. 171 

Unfortunately the metropolis of England has not at its command a sufficient 
supply of pure drinking water. The liquid supplied to some of the quarters of the 
town abounds in organic matter in a state of decomposition ; and the death rate 
rises there to double and even triple the height of what it is in more favoured 
localities, where the water supply is more satisfactory.* The Thames still supplies 
London with most of the water required for domestic purposes, and in the 
neighbourhood of London that river is not by any means a limpid stream. Its 
improvement has nevertheless been great since the middle of the century, when 
the whole of the London sewage found its way into it. At that time the water of 
the Thames was much polluted. The tide floated this matter up and .down the 
river ; the passing vessels stirred it to the surface ; and it was not without some 
risk to health that passengers embarked in them. Even now the water of the 
Thames, polluted by the waste washed into it from the river banks, or thrown out 
by the crews of the vessels, is far from pure. A deposit; of mud is left by it upon 
the flats and steps of the landing-places when it retires with the ebb tide. The 
Thames has been much " purified," as far as it flows through London proper ; but 
this cannot be said of its lower course. 

The main drainage of London was carried out between 1859 and 1875 under 
the supervision of the Metropolitan Board of Works. The sewage is carried to a 
considerable distance below London, and pumped into the Thames by powerful 
steam-engines erected at the Abbey Mills, near Barking Creek, and at Crossness 
Point, on the opposite bank of the river.t These works cost no less than 
£4,500,000, but they have by no means answered expectations. The metropolis 
has been purified, no doubt, but the towns near the outfall sewers complain of 
being poisoned, and the silt in the river increases from year to year. It was hoped 
more especially that the sewage discharged into the river would be carried away 
to the sea. Unfortunately a considerable portion of this sewage, after having been 
carried down stream by the ebb, returns with the flowing tide, and banks formed 
of sewage approach nearer and nearer to the towns in the neighbourhood of its 
outfalls. The Metropolitan Board of Works is responsible for this contamina- 
tion. Several kinds of fish which formerly ascended the Thames have been 
driven away by these impurities. Whitebait, so highly esteemed by gastro- 
nomists,+ and which were formerly caught as high up as Greenwich, are seen there 
no longer. The Dutch fishermen, who enter the Thames in their pursuit, restrict 
their incursions from year to year. In 1852 they came up to Erith ; in 1859 they 
stopped short of Greenhithe ; in 1862 they were driven from Gravesend ; and at 
present they hardly pass beyond the Nore.§ And yet this sewage matter, which 
poisons the river and pollutes the air of the towns, might be usefully employed 

* In 1877 the London water supply was classified as follows : — 

Unexception ably pure 7,000,000 gallons. 

Sometimes pure . 63,000,000 „ 

Polluted with sewage 61,000,000 

t Total length of main sewers 254 miles, and of local sewers 776 miles. Daily discharge of sewage 
about 500,000 tons. 

X According to Van Beneden (" Patria Belgica," i. p. 326) the whitebait is a young herring, but 
other authorities maintain that it is a distinct species. 
§ Calvert, Official Report, 1877. 



172 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



in fertilising tlie lowlands along both banks of the Thames, and in converting 
unproductive mud-flats into rich pasture- grounds. Experiments made on various 
occasions have demonstrated that London gets rid at a considerable expense, and 
throws into the sea, an element of agricultural wealth equal in value to the annual 
produce of 7,660,000 acres.* Surely the example set by Paris, Danzig, Edinburgh, 
Coventry, and many other towns ought not to have been lost upon London ; but 
no plan for utilising its sewage has hitherto been carried out effectually. 

In the distribution of pure water the authorities of London have been no more 
successful than in the removal of the sewage, and in both respects they might 



Fig. 90.— The London Sewers. 
Scale 1 : 250,000. 




2 Miles. 



have advantageously followed the example of Paris. An enormous capital has 
been expended in the construction of aqueducts, reservoirs, filtering beds, and other 
appliances. The water companies, who draw most of their supplies from the 
Thames, have grown rich and powerful, and they have hitherto successfully resisted 
the introduction of every improvement. t The first water supply of London, on a 
large scale was devised, by Peter Morrys, a German, who put up a water-wheel 
under one of the arches of London Bridge. This wheel was set in motion by the 

* J. J. Mechi, Times, September 27tli, 1878. 

t Their capital amounts to Jl2,000,000 ; their annual expenditure to £520,000; their income to 
;B1,327,300. They supply 121,000,000 gallons daily, being at the rate of 28 gallons per head of the 
population. 



LONDON. 



173 



tidal current, and worked a pump which forced the water through pipes into the 
streets and houses. These water works turned out a great success, and they 
disappeared only with old London Bridge in 1831. In 1606 the City obtained 
an Act of Parliament for bringing a stream of pure water from Hertfordshire 
into London, but, frightened at the magnitude of the task which they had under- 
taken, they were only too happy when Hugh Myddelton undertook to carry out 

Fig. 91. — LoxDON : Hyde Park and the' Serpentine. 




the scheme at his own risk. This was the origin of the 'New River Company, 
one of the most successful undertakings in the world. The cost of this enterprise 
only amounted to £17,000 ;* but a few years ago a single share of the company was 
sold for £50,000. At the present time the London water supply forms the 
subject of serious discussion, and various schemes have been brought forward for 
rendering the metropolis independent of a river which receives the sewage of 
a million inhabitants. It has been proposed to collect the rain-water which 
* See Timbs's " Curiosities of London." 



174 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

falls on Bagshot Heath, to the south-west of London ; or to draw a supply of 
100,000,000 gallons daily from the head-streams of the Severn, 180 miles 
distant; nay, even to construct an aqueduct, some 250 miles in length, for 
conveying to London the limpid water of the lakes of Cumberland. There can 
hardly arise a question of cost in the case of the wealthiest city of the world, 
which a supply of pure water would at the same time convert into the most 
salubrious. 

Gas was first introduced into the London streets in 1807, when Winzor, a 
native of Znaim, in Moravia, experimentally lit up one side of Pall Mall. He 
and his supporters were incorporated, in 1812, as the Chartered Gas Company. 
At the present time there are six gas companies, who consume an immense 
quantity of coal, and effectively light up London during the night.* The electric 
light, however, is invading the monopoly hitherto enjoyed by the companies, and 
its use in streets, warehouses, and public buildings is becoming almost daily more 
general. 

Superficial observers frequently talk of the uncertainty of life in London, whilst 
that city, notwithstanding the bad quality of some of the water supplied to it, is 
in reality one of the most healthy in Europe, and certainly that one among the 
great capitals in which the number of births is most in excess of the number of 
deaths. t Four-fifths of the annual increase of the population of London are due 
to this excess, the remainder resulting from immigration. It is more especially 
the natives of the surrounding counties who are attracted to London, and the gaps 
left by these migrations are filled up by an inflow from the more remote districts. + 
Many of the female servants of London are included amongst these immigrants. 
There are 1,137 females to every 1,000 males. It is said sometimes that there 

* The six companies have a capital of £12,682,000; they annually consume 1,560,000 tons of coal, 
and produce daily about 42,000,000 cubic feet of gas of an illuminating power of twelve candles, for which 
they charge 3s. 9d. per 1 ,000 cubic feet. 

t Birth rate and death rate in a few large towns (1878) : — 

Biiths to 1,000 Deaths to 1,000 
living. , living. 

London 36-2 23-5 

Paris _ 24-6 

Berlin 41-8 29-9 

Vienna 38-0 29-6 

Rome 27-2 296 

X The population of London according to birthplaces (1871) :— 

XT >+•, * T 1 Number. Per Cent. 

Natives of London 2,055,576 63-2 

„ Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Essex, Bucks, 

and Herts 317,202 98 

Other parts of England .... 634,620 19-5 

„ Monmouth and Wales .... 22,262 0*7 

^^'^tl'^^'l • • 41,'o29 1-3 

I^flf'id 91J71 2-8 

„ British Colonies 25 494 0-8 

„ Foreign countries 66,101 2-0 

Bom at sea j 205 

Aniongst the foreigners there were (exclusive of naturalised British subjects) 19,773 Germans, 10,719 
Frenchmen, 4,825 Dutchmen, 4,229 Poles, 2,287 Scandinavians, &c. 



LONDON. 



175 



are more Scotchmen in London than in Edinburgh, and more Irishmen than in 
Dublin. This is a mistake, though the Scotch and Irish who have settled in 
London, together with their descendants, are sufficiently numerous to form two 
very respectable towns. The number of Jews is more considerable than in any 
other town of England. Gipsies have permanently established themselves in the 
neighbourhood of Dulwich ; whilst in the east, near the Docks, we meet with 
representatives of nearly every nationality on the face of the globe, including 
Hindus, Malays, Chinese, and Polynesians. Nowhere else in Europe are we pre- 
sented with equal facilities for ethnological study. The foreign European popu- 
lation of London is proportionately not as numerous now as it was in the sixteenth 
century.* Most of these foreigners come to London in search of business; and 



Fig. 92 —Increase by Immigkation, axd Excess of Births of the Large Cities of Europe. 

According to Dunant. 




Inci-ease due to Immigration 



I I Increase due to an excess of births. 



whilst the English residents at Paris have gone there to spend, the Frenchmen 
whom we meet in London are intent upon making money. Hence the striking 
contrasts between the two colonies, which are not those of race only. 

In order to gain some idea of the immense multitudes of London it is by no 
means necessary that we should be present on one of those occasions when a public 
procession through the streets attracts its multitudes, or take part in the festivities 
inseparably connected with public holidays. It is quite sufficient to visit some of 
the leading thoroughfares of the City, such as Cheapside, Ludgate Hill, Cannon 
Street, or Lombard Street, during business hours. Carriages, omnibuses, and 
vehicles of every description appear at first sight to be mixed up in inextricable 

* In 1580 there were 6,502 foreigners amongst a total population of at most 150,000 souls, or 4*3 
per cent. ; in 1871 there were 66,101 foreigners, equal to IZ'O per cent, of the total population. 



176 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

confusion ; but after awhile we perceive that in this moving chaos there are two 
well-marked currents, fed by the numerous side-streets as by so many affluents, 
and that these currents, though flowing in opposite directions, carefully avoid 
each other. Beneath the crowd passing along on the tops of omnibuses and in 
carriages there moves another crowd, which glides between the wheels, dives 
beneath the horses' heads, and flows in contrary streams along the pathways. Now 
and then may be heard the dull rumble which announces the arrival of a train ; 
the railway station sends forth its crowd of passengers, and these are quickly lost 
amongst the greater crowd pouring through the streets. London Bridge, the 
principal means of communication between the City and Southwark, is daily 
crossed by at least 300,000 persons, and from year to year the trafiic which flows 
across it increases in bulk.* Reconstructed in 1825, to accommodate the grow- 
ing traffic, it has become necessary since to widen it once more, in order that it 
may afford a channel broad enough for the " river of men which flows across the 
unconscious river beneath." f Standing upon this bridge and looking seawards, we 
see both banks fringed with a forest of masts, the intervening space being hardly 
wide enough for the manoeuvring vessels, carried along by the current or 
struggling against the tide. Above bridge numerous small steamers, crowded 
from stem to stern with passengers, appear and disappear under the arches of a 
railway bridge quivering almost incessantly beneath passing trains. These minia- 
ture steamers, which stop every instant at some pier, and start as soon as they have 
discharged or replenished their human cargoes, may be likened to moving quays 
travelling from one end of the town to the other. 

The metropolitan railways, carried along high viaducts above the houses or 
running through tunnels and deep cuttings beneath them, are great passenger 
high-roads, in no way inferior to the streets of the City, and far more important 
than the Thames. The number of passengers who arrive daily at the railway 
stations of London cannot be less than a million. In the more frequented under- 
ground stations, the din and rumble of carriages are incessant, and hardly has a 
train departed before another makes its appearance. Between Brentford and 
Greenwich, Sydenham and Highgate, there are no lesS than 150 stations, great 
and small, and all the quarters of the town have been placed in communication 
with each other and with the great trunk" lines which connect London with the 
provinces. All but the local traffic is carried on by steam. On the approaching 
completion of the Inner Circle, it is proposed to attach the trains to cables set in 
motion by stationary engines, and they will then roll along without intermission like 
planets in their orbit. It is mainly owing to these facilities for rapid locomotion 
that London has been able to spread- itself over the surrounding country, much to 
the advantage of public health. If the aid of steam had not been invoked, 
London, like Paris and most other continental towns, would have been compelled 
to grow in height by placing story upon story. Nevertheless, even London can 
show a few of those huge edifices in which thousands of human beings live, floor 

!'S^ 1875 London Bridge was crossed daily by 20,000 vehicles, and by 170,000 persons on foot, 
t Charles Dickens. 



LONDON. 



177 



above floor, within a narrow area. Sucli is the gigantic Midland Hotel at the 
St. Pancras station, a huge mass of brick and iron, with towers, pavilions, and 
triumphal gateways ; such also are the other hotels constructed for the convenience 
of travellers contiguous to the great railway termini. These palaces tower high 
above the surrounding houses, but they are scarcely sufficiently capacious to 
accommodate the crowds that flock to them. 

So prodigious is the extent of London that there exists no point of vantage 
where the whole of it can be seen spread out beneath us, even though the 
prospect be not obscured by fog or smoke. From the top of the Monument 

Fig. 93, — Railways of London. 
Scale 1 : 350,000. 




raised in the centre of the City we merely see the roofs of numberless houses, the 
steeples of hundreds of churches, and a crescent- shaped reach of the river, with its 
bridges, steamers, and forests of masts, lost on the horizon. From Primrose Hill or 
the heights of Hampstead or Highgate, on the north of London, we look down upon 
the parks, gardens, and villas, beyond which extends the ocean of houses 
surmounted by the cupola of St. Paul's ; but the Thames and its port are beyond 
the reach of vision. From Greenwich, or from the tall tower of the Crystal 
Palace, other portions of the metropolis can be seen or divined, but the greater part 
of London is always excluded from the immense panorama. In order to obtain a 
true idea of the prodigious size of the City we must necessarily explore its various 



178 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

quarters, all difFering in aspect and population. London, unlike Paris in this 
respect, has no collective personality. It is not, strictly speaking, a town at all, 
possessed of a well-defined individuality, and differing in any marked way from 
the towns in any other parts of Grreat Britain. Its growth has heen too rapid to 
enable it to develop a well defined character of its own. Like a plant whose sap 
rises too quickly, it has not displayed the firmness of contour and special phy- 
siognomy which are the characteristics of organisms of slower growth. London, 
very unlike Paris and most of the great cities of the continent, has not grown 
around a kernel, but is an agglomeration of distinct towns, amongst which the 
City of London, Westminster, and Greenwich were the most considerable. The 
vast metropolis is the outcome of a combination of numerous towns and villages 
placed in contiguity to each other. This mode of growth prevented London from 
acquiring a distinct personality. It is, above all, an assemblage of distinct worlds 
— worlds of warehouses, banks, factories, princely residences and villas — each world 
having its proper physiognomy and history. It is an organism with several centres of 
life, such as are typified by the Houses of Parliament, Charing Cross, the Bank 
of England, and the Docks. But nevertheless nearly all its quarters agree in this — 
that their houses are constructed of the same material and covered with the same 
layer of grime resulting from the smoke-laden fogs. Though London occupies 
a geological basin similar to that of Paris, it does not enjoy the advantage of 
having quarries of limestone and gypsum in its neighbourhood. Hence most of 
its houses are built of brick, and the stone for the more monumental buildings 
has to be brought from quarries situated at an immense distance. The rocks of 
Yorkshire furnished the limestone required for the construction of the Houses 
of Parliament; Portland supplied the materials for St. Paul's and many other 
buildings. The Tower of London is built of Caen stone, for it was in their duchy 
of Normandy that the early Kings of England sought the materials required for 
raising their palaces and fortresses. Even now a considerable number of vessels 
annually leave the basin of the Orne laden with stone for London builders. But 
the granite and limestone of the monumental buildings are covered with the same 
coating of grime which disfigures the meaner houses. The showers of soot 
discolour even the leaves of trees, the lawns and garden flowers, and a few years 
sufiice to blacken the walls of buildings. It is matter for surprise that rich 
Englishmen, so scrupulously careful of the cleanliness of their persons and homes, 
should not have adopted more extensively the Portuguese and Brazilian fashion of 
covering their houses with glazed bricks, which can be washed. In the finer 
quarters of the West-end, however, such bricks are gradually coming into vogue. 

London, like most other European towns, expands principally towards the 
west, for it is from that direction that the purifying westerly winds blow 
during the greater part of the year. There are, however, other circumstances 
which have caused London to grow in the direction of the setting sun. The soil 
on that side is solid, whilst swampy lowlands stretch out towards the east ; the 
Thames above London Bridge can be crossed more easily than below it; and houses 
have been built in preference in localities where the communication between bank 



LONDON. 179 

and bank presents the least difficulties. It results from this that the centre of London 
is continually gravitating towards the west. The Koman milestone which may still 
be seen in the wall of St. Swithin's Church, opposite Cannon Street station, and which 
probably marked the spot whence the roads from Londinium to the other towns of 
Britain diverged, no longer occupies the centre of London, nor does the City. 
As to the latter, it by no means presents that aspect of antiquity which might be 
expected. London is essentially a modern town, even in those parts which 
occupy the site of the Roman Londinium, six-sevenths of its area having been 
devastated by the great fire of 1666, commemorated by a monumental column 
near London Bridge. This fire destroyed over 13,000 houses, 85 churches, and the 
Guildhall, and there now remain, independently of the Tower, only a few buildings 
anterior in date to the seventeenth century. Most prominent amongst these are 
St. Bartholomew's Church, portions of which belong to the time of Henry I. ; the 
beautiful round church in the Temple, constructed between 1185 and 1240; and 
St. John's Gate, which belonged to a hospital of the Knights of St. John. Another 
old church is that of St. Saviour's, South wark, near the southern end of London 
Bridge. The. old walls which formerly surrounded the City have likewise disap- 
peared, the last remaining gate, that of Temple Bar, having been demolished quite 
recently, on account of its impeding the traffic which flows through the Strand into 
Fleet Street. It was on Temple Bar that heads of traitors were exposed to the 
public gaze within the last century. The gate used to be closed whenever the 
sovereign approached the City, the Lord Mayor waiting on the City side, 
prepared to make over to him his sword of office, which he was expected 
graciously to return. 

The City, like the central quarter of Paris, contains a considerable number of 
public buildings, but its most striking edifices are banks, warehouses, and offices. 
These palatial structures of granite, marble, or brick, five or six stories in height, 
are situated, for the most part, in narrow and winding streets and alleys. 
During the night many of them are left in the care of housekeepers or of 
the police. Early in the morning thousands of men take the road towards 
the City from all the suburbs of London, from the towns in its neighbourhood, 
and even from Brigjiton, The trains deposit their freights in the stations 
near the Bank, omnibuses contribute their due contingent of passengers, and 
the streets swarm with life. More than a million of human beings then crowd 
this hive of industry. As the evening approaches the tide begins to retire. 
Trains, omnibuses, and steamers fill once more, but this time they carry their 
passengers away from the City. There remain then hardly over 70,000 
residents, where only a few hours before commercial afiairs of interest to the 
entire world had been dealt with. More than 2,000 houses stand almost 
empty. The number of residents decreases with every decade, and the City is 
more and more becoming exclusively a place of business.* But it is not merely 

* Population and inhabited houses of the City : — 

1801 . . ' . . 16,508 houses, 128,833 inhabitants. 

1861 . . . . 13,298 „ 112,063 „ 

1871 .... 5,309 „ 74,732 „ 



180 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

a desire of concentrating the transactions of commerce in this quarter that 
causes the resident population to diminish, for thB City authorities, by opening 
wide thoroughfares through the districts inhabited by the poor, work towards the 
same end. When Farringdon Street was extended through the old valley of the 
Fleet, nearly 8,000 workmen's families found themselves homeless at a single 
blow, and their humble dwellings made room for public buildings, railways, and 
piles of offices. In the course of the last forty years at least 50,000 work- 
men have in this manner been driven out of the City, and compelled to herd 
together in the adjoining districts. The number of paupers has grown small 
in the City, but it has increased all the more rapidly in the neighbouring 
parishes. 

The very poorest quarters of London have immediate contact with that wealthy 
City, which not many years hence will count only employes and housekeepers 
amongst its resident population. The labyrinth of streets around the Tower and the 
Docks is dreaded by the stranger, and not often entered by the Londoner residing 
in more favoured districts. The mud is carried from the streets into the passages 
of the houses ; the walls are bespattered with filth ; tatters hang in the windows ; 
a fetid or rancid odour fills the atmosphere ; while most of the men and women you 
meet in the streets have sunken eyes and emaciated limbs. The soiled garments 
which they wear have originally belonged to the fine ladies and gentlemen of the 
West -end ; they have changed hands ten times since their original owners parted 
with them, and finish as rags upon the bodies of the inhabitants of Shadwell and 
Wapping. Certain narrow streets in Eotherhithe, Bermondsey, and Lambeth, to 
the south of the Thames, are likewise the seats of misery, and it is with a feeling 
of relief we emerge from them, and obtain a sight of the Thames, of some wide 
thoroughfare, or of a public park. How vast is the contrast between these wretched 
quarters and the sumptuous suburbs ; how great the difference in the modes of life 
of the inhabitants and the burdens they are called upon to carry ! The annual 
death rate varies between 14 and 60 to every 1,000 persons living, according to 
the streets, and death gathers its harvest most' rapidly where want of work, of 
bread, and of other necessaries facilitates its task. The misery London hides is 
indescribable. 

The districts which bound the City to the north and east, such as Spital- 
fields, Bethnal Green, and Clerkenwell, are principally inhabited by artisans, and 
separate the poorest quarters of London from those mainly occupied by the lower 
middle classes. The houses there are for the most part of the common English 
type. An area, 6 to 10 feet deep, and bounded by railings, separates the 
street from the house. A flagstone or " steps," thrown across this " ditch " like a 
drawbridge over the moat of a fortress, lead to the entrance of what has very 
appropriately been described as the Englishman's " castle." Separate steps 
usually lead down into the area and to the kitchen and coal cellar. There are no 
" spy-glasses," such as may frequently be seen in the Low Countries, and the sash- 
windows towards the street remain obstinately closed. Flowers usually ornament 
the rooms, but cannot be seen from the street, for they are there for the gratifica- 



LONDON. IQj 

tion of the owner, and not for that of casual passers-by.* The house, nevertheless 
is a hospitable one. If its outer walls are blackened with soot, the steps leading 
up to the door are irreproachably clean, and it is the pride and ambition of London 
housewives to keep them so. 

Farther west, in the district of Marylebone, the houses are higher, the areas 
wider and deeper, and open squares planted with trees more numerous, for we 
there already find ourselves in a quarter largely inhabited by the wealthier middle 
class. During last century Marylebone was the aristocratic quarter, which has 
now moved westward, to the neighbourhood of Hyde Park and Kensington 
Gardens, Belgravia being looked upon as its centre. In this part of the town 
every square or street presents itself architectually as a whole. There are streets 
lined uninterruptedly for half a mile and more with porticoed houses, all apparently 
forming part of one huge building. Elsewhere the residences are detached, but 
they still resemble each other in size and architectural accessories, such as balconies 
and conservatories. The genius of the architects is only occasionally allowed to 
reveal itself in &ome separate building. Acres, nay, square miles, are covered with 
houses designed on the same pattern, as if they had come out of the hands of the 
same artisan, like the chalets in a Swiss toy-box. Their stairs and fireplaces 
occupy similar positions ; their mouldings and decorations have been supplied in 
thousands by the same manufacturer. On entering such -a house, there is no need 
for a searching examination ; its internal arrangements are rigidly determined in 
advance, and their regularity is greater than that of the cells in a beehive. Such is 
the inevitable result of the employment of large capital in the simultaneous 
construction of hundreds of houses. An exploration of the new quarters, which 
cover so considerable a portion of the county of Middlesex to the west of older 
London, makes us marvel at the large number of men rich enough to live in such 
luxurious dwellings. Broad flights of steps, carefully kept front gardens, rare 
flowers, marble terraces, and plate- glass windows enable us to judge of the wealth 
of the interiors ; and certes, if we enter one of these houses, we find that carpets, 
curtains, and every article of furniture is of the most substantial quality. 

Several of the palatial residences in the older parts of the town were left 
behind when the aristocracy effected their exodus to the westward, and they now 
rise like islands in the midst of the quarters invaded by commercial London. 
Even Buckingham Palace and the royal palace of St. James lie to the eastward 
of Belgravia, but the latter of these is merely used on rare occasions of state, 
whilst Buckingham Palace is perfectly isolated, being surrounded by parks and 
royal private gardens. As to the club-houses, which on account of their noble 
proportions and architectural merits are undoubtedly amongst the great ornaments 
of London, they have naturally been built in that part of the town where parlia- 
mentary, aristocratic, and commercial London approach nearest to each other. 
St. James's Park bounds this " London of the Clubs " in the south. Regent Street 
in the east, and Piccadilly, one of the great seats of the retail trade, in the north. 

* We fancy windows in London are kept closed to prevent the entrance of dust, and prized flowers are 
not exposed on the window-sill because the London atmosphere does not usually agree with them. — Ed. 



182 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Of all the old buildings of London the Tower is the most venerable. It was 
erected by William the Conqueror, to the east of the City and on the banks of the 
Thames, on a site perhaps previously occupied by a Roman castle, for coins of the 
Empire and the foundations of walls, believed to be very ancient, have been discovered 
there. Looking across the wide moat of the fortress, now laid out as a garden and 
drill-ground, there rises boldly and commandingly the glorious old pile known as 
the " White Tower." This keep of the ancient fortress, in its simple grandeur, 
contrasts most advantageously with the pretentious buildings of more modern date 
which surround it. Its walls, so old chronicles tell us, were " cemented with the 
blood of animals," and in its neighbourhood the blood of human beings has been 
shed most freely. Leaving out of account those who fell on both sides during 
revolutions and civil wars in the defence or attack of the fortress, as also the 
obscure prisoners who were murdered within its precincts, we can count 



Fig. 94.— Buckingham Palace. 




many personages known to history whose heads fell on Tower Green, close 
to the unpretending church of St. Peter ad Vincula, or on Tower Hill, outside 
the entrance gate. It was here that the sovereigns of England caused to be 
beheaded rivals to kingly power, courtiers of whom they had grown tired, wives 
whom they repudiated. Here, too, perished some of those men whose names are 
justly venerated in England, and amongst them Algernon Sidney, whom 
Charles II. caused to be executed in 1685. The " Bloody Tower *' was the scene 
of the murder of the children of Edward IV. The history of the Tower is that of 
royal crimes. " Upon its blackened walls are painted, in lines of blood, the ambition 
of Edward L, the luxuriousness of Henry YIIL, the fanaticism of Mary, the cruel 
vanity of Elizabeth." Long before the destruction of the French Bastille, the 
Tower of London had twice fallen into the hands of a revolted people ; but neither 
Wat Tyler nor Jack Cade thought of demolishing the fortress, which up to 1820 
served as a state prison. The Tower is now used as an arsenal and armoury, 



LONDON. 183 

and the royal jewels are kept there. The lions of the Tower, upon whose life, 
following an old legend, depended that of the sovereign, were transferred in 1834 
to the Zoological Gardens.* 

Westminster Abbey, around which was built the city of the same name, an old 
rival of that of London, is less ancient than the Tower. It only dates back to the 
thirteenth century, but it rises on the site of older churches, the first amongst 
which was encircled by an arm of the Thames, long since dried up. "Westminster 
Abbey, notwithstanding modern additions and restorations, *is one of the most 
perfect Gothic churches of England, one of those whose aspect is most harmonious. 
The interior, though too much cumbered with mortuary monuments, is more 
especially remarkable for its boldness and airiness. The apsidal chapel of 
Henry YII., in which the Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Bath used to 
meet, is ablaze with light and decorations. Arches of fairy -like grace support the 

Fig. 95. — Westminster Abbey. 




fretted vault, " pendent by subtle magic," a marvel of constructive skill. West- 
minster Abbey is the St. Denis and Pantheon of England thrown into one. In it 
most of those men whose memory is venerated by the nation have found a last rest- 
ing-place, or at least a monument has been erected to their memory. But besides 
men of distinction, how many are there not who have found a place in this edifice 
who were great only in birth, wealth, or in their own conceit ; and in addition 
to works of the sculptor's art, great in design and sober in taste, how frequently 
are we not offended by ridiculous allegories and boastful inscriptions ! Amongst 
the most remarkable monuments are the sarcophagus of Henry VII. and his wife, 
and the seated statue of Lord Mansfield ; but who could pass without notice the 
monuments or tombstones of Edward the Confessor, Edward III., Jane Seymour, 
Mary Stuart, or Queen Elizabeth, or those of statesmen such as Monk, Canning, 
* Hepworth Dixon, "The Tower of London.'' 



184 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

Chatham, Pitt, Fox, Warren Hastings, and Robert Peel, whose influences upon the 
destinies of the nation have been so pronounced? Newton, Herschel, Watt, 
Humphry Davy, Telford, and Young are buried at Westminster. Here, too, are 
interred, or commemorated by monuments, mostly in the "Poets' Corner," Chaucer, 
Ben Jonson, Camden, Milton, Butler, Gray, Spenser, Addison, Dryden, Congreve, 



Westminster Abbey: Henry VII. 's Chapel. 




Thomson, Casaubon, Goldsmith, Southey, Macaulay, Dickens, Thackeray, PaoH, 
Wilberforce, Handel, Kemble, Mrs. Siddons, and Garrick. Lastly, amongst those 
who have made the earth their study, are Stamford Raffles, Rennel, Chardin, 
Lyell, and Livingstone. 

Westminster Abbey has survived, notwithstanding the Reformation. It still is 



LONDON. 185 

'in possession of its church, chapter-house, and cloister, has retained its ancient 
institutions, and grown in wealth. Its Dean is a prince of the Church, who lives in 
a Gothic mansion adjoining the Abbey, and enjoys an annual stipend of £2,000. 
The Chapter has a revenue of £60,000, out of which 1,000 guineas are annually 
expended upon the public school dependent upon it. In many respects this West- 
minster School resembles a grammar school of the sixteenth century rather than a 
modern place of instruction.* It was near it, in the old Almonry of Westminster, 
that William Caxton, before the year 1477, set 'up the first printing-press in 
England. 

Close to the ancient abbey, on the banks of the Thames, rises Westminster 
Palace, reconstructed since the fire of 1834, to serve as a seat for the two Houses 
of Parliament. This Gothic edifice is one of the vastest in the world, for it covers 
8 acres, and contains more than a thousand rooms of all sizes, a chapel, and 2 
miles of corridors. But, for all this, the building has not realised the expectations 
of those who caused it to be constructed. If worthy of England by the wealth of 
its decorations and its size, it is hardly so as regards its beauty, and still less so 
with respect to its internal arrangements. Famous Westminster Hall, a remnant 
of the old palace, has been embodied in the modern structure. It is a superb room, 
250 feet in length and 68 in width, spanned by a remarkable roof supported on 
sculptured rafters of chestnut-wood. The parliamentary commission charged 
with the selection of a plan is said to have vitiated the original design of 
the architect. Sir Charles Barry. It certainly failed in selecting a stone capable 
of resisting the deleterious efiects of the London climate. The magnesian lime- 
stone from Anston, in Yorkshire, is rapidly crumbling to pieces, and had to be 
covered with silicates to stay its decay. But whatever art critics may say, there 
are parts of the building deserving of our admiration, nor can we contemplate 
without delight the long facade reflected in the Thames, the slender clock tower 
with its gilded roof, or the more compactly built Victoria Tower, rising to a height 
of 336 feet, and commanding all surrounding buildings. 

The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral rises even higher than the towers of West- 
minster, and stands out nobly above the houses of the City. Of all the monumental 
buildings of London this one is the most superb of aspect, that which is visible 
from the greatest distance, and which, owing to its commanding position, is best 
entitled to be looked upon as the veritable centre of the metropolis. This edifice 
is the masterpiece of Christopher Wren, who built many other churches, all in 
different styles, as if it had been his aim to grapple with and solve all the problems 
which present themselves to the architect. The edifice was raised between 1675 and 
1710, on the site of a cathedral swept away by the great fire of 1666. Its principal 
features are a double portico of coupled columns, forming the west front, and a 
gigantic dome of most noble proportions, rising to a height of 360 feet, including 
its lantern. Seen from the Thames, the grandeur of this dome, hung in a bluish 
haze, is best brought home to us. But the interior of the building hardly corre- 
sponds with the magnificence of its external features. The bare walls are of repellent 
* Demogeot et Montucci, " De I'Enseignement secondaire en Angleterre et en Ecosse." 
109— E 



186 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



coldness, while many of the monuments placed in the nave and the aisles are bad in 
taste, and altogether out of keeping with the character of the building. Plans for 
decorating the interior, said to be in accordance with the original conceptions of the 
architect, are, however, being carried out. Military and naval heroes are most 
prominent amongst those to whom the honour of interment in St. Paul's has been 
accorded, the foremost places being occupied by ]N'elson and Wellington. By their 
side, room has been found for a large band of scholars and artists, including 
William Jones, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Lawrence, Rennie, and last, not least. 
Sir Christopher Wren, its architect. 

There are in London about 1,200 churches, chapels, and synagogues, and 

Fig. 97. — St. Paul's Cathedral. 




many of these buildings are remarkable for their purity of style, which the 
modern English architect knows how to imitate with great aptitude, or for 
the wealth of their internal decoration. Amongst the multitude of its other 
buildings, including palaces, Government offices, theatres, clubs, hospitals, and 
schools, London may boast of several distinguished for the beauty of their archi- 
tecture. Prominent amongst these are the new Courts of Justice, close to 
the site of old Temple Bar ; St. Thomas's Hospital, opposite the Houses of 
Parliament ; Albert Hall, a building of magnificent proportions, facing the gilt 
statue of the Prince Consort on the southern side of Kensington Gardens; 
and Somerset House, between the Strand and the Victoria Embankment. But 



LONDON. 



187 



of all the many buildings of London there are none capable of conveying 
a higher notion of its might than the seventeen bridges which span the Thames 
between Hammersmith and the Tower. Some of these are built of granite, 
others of iron ; they all vary in aspect, and are sometimes of superb propor- 
tions. Eight of them are met with between Westminster Palace and the 
Pool, or Port of London, a distance of less than 2 miles by the river, and 
three of these vibrate almost incessantly beneath the weight of passing railway 
trains. Until quite recently it was impossible to admire these bridges without 
embarking in a steamer ; but the Thames has now been " regulated " for a con- 
siderable portion of its course, and superb quays have taken the place of fetid 
banks of mud, left dry by each receding tide. The Victoria Embankment now 
stretches for 6,640 feet from Westminster to Blackfriars Bridge. Its river wall, 
of solid granite, rises 40 feet above low water, and rests upon a foundation 

Fig. 98. — Somerset House Axr> the Victoria Emrankment. 




descending to a depth of from 16 to 40 feet. Public gardens and rows of trees 
occupy a considerable part of it, and gladden the eyes which formerly turned away 
with disgust from wretched hovels and narrow alleys, washed by the turgid 
waters of the Thames. Upon this embankment stands " Cleopatra's Needle," 
one of the forty-two obelisks known to exist in the world. It was brought 
thither from Alexandria. Thanks to the use of hydraulic rams, twenty-four 
men were enabled to raise this monument ; whilst Lebas, in 1836, employed 480 
persons in the erection of the Obelisk of Luxor ; and Fontana, in 1586, required 
the services of 960 men and 75 horses to poise the Needle on the Piazza di San 
Pietro ,at Rome. 

Above London Bridge numerous bridges facilitate the intercourse between the 
two banks of the river, but lower down the Port begins, with its warehouses, jetties, 
landing-stages, and cranes. It has not hitherto been found feasible to throw a 



188 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

bridge across the river below London Bridge without unduly interfering with the 
traffic, and recourse has been had to tunnels. One of these underground passages, 
through which a railway now runs, has become famous on account of the difficulties 
which Brunei, its engineer, was compelled to surmount in the course of its 
construction. In 1825, when he began his work, his undertaking was looked upon 
as one of the most audacious effiarts of human genius ; for experience in the 
construction of tunnels had not then been won on a large scale, and nearly every 
mechanical appliance had to be invented. Quite recently a second tunnel has 
been constructed beneath the bed of the Thames, close to the Tower. Instead of 
its requiring fifteen years for its completion, as did the first, it was finished in 
hardly more than a year ; its cost was trifling, and not a human life was lost 
during the progress of the work.* At the present time a third tunnel is projected 
for the Lower Thames, and the construction of a huge bridge near the Tower is 
under discussion. In order that this bridge may not interfere with the river 
traffic, and yet permit a stream of carriages to flow uninterruptedly across it, it is 
proposed to place two swing-bridges in its centre, which would successively be 
opened in order to permit large vessels to pass through. 

Amongst the public buildings of London there are many which are not visited 
because of their size or architecture, but for the sake of the treasures which they 
shelter. Foremost of these is the British Museum — a vast edifice of noble pro- 
portions, with a lofty portico. But no sooner have we penetrated the entrance 
hall than we forget the building, and have eyes only for the treasures of nature 
and art which fill its vast rooms. Its sculpture galleries contain the most admired 
and most curious monuments of Assyria, Egypt, Armenia, Asia Minor, Greece, and 
Etruria. It is there the lover of high art may contemplate with feelings akin to 
religion the tombs of Lycia, the fragments of the Mausoleum, the columns from 
the Temple of Diana of Ephesus, the Phygalian marbles, and the sculptures of the 
Parthenon. Since Lord Elgin in 1816 brought these precious marbles from 
Athens to the banks of the Thames, it is to London we must wend our way, and 
not to Hellas, if we would study the genius of Greece. Here, too, we find the 
famous " Rosetta stone " which Young sought to decipher, and which furnished 
Champollion with a key for readitig the hieroglyphics of Egypt. Papyri of three 
and four and perhaps even five thousand years of age, and the brick tablets which 
formed the library in the palace of Nineveh, are likewise preserved in the British 
Museum. In the course of its hundred and twenty-seven years of existence between 
1753 and 1880 the British nation has expended upon this Museum the respectable sum 
of £5,600,000. The library attached to the Museum, notwithstanding its 1,500,000 
volumes, is as yet less rich than the Bibliotheque Rationale of Paris, but, being 
liberally supported, it increases rapidly, whilst its admirable arrangements 
attract to it scholars from every part of the world. The reading-room itself, a 
vast circular apartment covered by a dome 140 feet in diameter and 106 feet in 
height, and lit up during' the evening by electric lights, is deserving our admira- 
* Brunei's tunnel cost £464.715, the " subway " near the Tower only £16,000. The former consists, 
however, of two arched passages 1,200 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 16^ feet in height ; whUst the latter, 
though 1,330 feet in length, is merely an iron tube of 8 feet in diameter. 



LONDON. 189 

tion. In it are arranged a classified catalogue in a thousand volumes, and 20,000 
works of reference, freely at the disposal of the readers. Unfortunately the 
Museum authorities are much hampered for want of accommodation. Some of the 
most precious sculptures have had to be relegated to sheds or vaults, and many 
offers of donations have been declined owing to want of space.* 

The National Gallery occupies a magnificent site in Trafalgar Square, in 
which artesian wells send forth fountains of water. There does not, how- 
ever, exist another building in London which stands so much in need of an 
apology. True it is stated to be merely a temporary home for the great 
National Gallery, but the paintings have nevertheless been kept there for 
over half a century. The National Gallery started with a small collection of 
forty paintings, but purchases and donations have caused it to grow rapidly. In 
a single year (1872) seventy-seven paintings, of the value of £76,000, were added 
to it, and it includes now more than a thousand paintings, together with several 
works of the sculptor's chisel. The large funds at its disposal have enabled 
its trustees to secure many of the most highly prized treasures of European 
collections. The old Italian schools are well represented in this gallery, and 
paintings of the older masters are numerous, including the " Raising of Lazarus," 
the joint production of Sebastiano del Piombo and Michael Angelo, Correggio's 
'* Mercury and Venus" and " Ecce Homo," and various paintings by Raffael and 
other Italian masters. We meet, likewise, with the masterly productions of 
Velasquez, Murillo, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vandyck, and with landscapes by 
Ruysdael and Hobbema. Two paintings by Turner have, by express desire of 
the artist, been placed side by side with two similar works by Claude Lorraine. 
Dulwich Gallery, near the Crystal Palace, contains valuable paintings by 
Murillo, Velasquez, and the Dutch masters. Very considerable, too, are the 
private collections in London, including those in Bridgewater House, in 
Devonshire House, Grosvenor House, and other princely mansions of the 
aristocracy. 

South Kensington Museum possesses, next to the British Museum, the largest 
number of priceless art treasures. It was founded in 1851 as an aid towards the 
development of art industries, in which the English were confessedly behind some 
of their neighbours, as was clearly demonstrated by the Exhibition held in the year 
named. The museum includes quite an agglomeration of buildings, some of them 
of a provisional character ; but a permanent edifice, in the purest style of Italian 
Renaissance, is rapidly approaching completion, and promises to become one of the 
great ornaments of London. The collections exhibited at South Kensington include 
an immense variety of objects, but owing to the provisional nature of a portion 
of the buildings, it has not yet been found possible to classify and arrange them in 
a thoroughly satisfactory manner. Nevertheless progress is being made, and now 
and then the eye alights upon a masterpiece which commands admiration, quite 

* The expenditure of the Museum amounts to £110,000 per annum. It is visited annually by about 
650,000 persons, of whom 115,000 make use of the reading-room for purposes of research, each reader, on 
an average, consulting 12 volumes daily. The library increases at the rate of 35,000 volumes a year. 



190 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

irrespective of the locality assigned to it. Even Florence might envy South 
Kensino-ton the possession of some of the best examples of Italian Renaissance,* 
most prominent amongst which are seven admirable cartoons by Raffael, which 
produce almost the effect of fresco paintings. In addition to the articles which are 
the property of the museum, there is exhibited at South Kensington a most 
valuable '' loan collection/' intrusted to the authorities by wealthy amateurs, in 
order that artists and the public may study its contents. Quite recently the 
museum has been enriched by the acquisition of the larger portion of the contents 
of the old India Museum. These are exhibited in a series of rooms overlooking 
the gardens of the Horticultural Society, and nowhere else in Europe is it possible 
to meet with a larger collection of objects illustrating the history and private life 
of the inhabitants of the Ganges peninsula. South Kensington is, indeed, becoming 
a '* town of museums." The straggling galleries which surround the gardens of 
the society just named are filled with all kinds of objects, including huge cannons, 
ships' models, educational apparatus, portraits of eminent Englishmen, an anthro- 
pological collection, and maps. The new Natural History Museum occupies an 
adjoining site. It has recently received the precious miner alogical, geological, 
botanical, zoological, and* anthropological collections of the British Museum, 
which are the delight of the student, and some of the objects in which — as, for 
instance, the fossilised Caraib found on Guadaloupe — are of priceless value. The 
Patent Office Museum adjoins the museum of South Kensington, and contains, in 
addition to numerous models, several objects, such as the earliest machines and 
engines constructed by Arkwright, Watt, and Stephenson, which no mechanician 
can behold without a feeling of veneration. Parliament has at all times shown 
favour to the museum in South Kensington, by willingly granting the large sums 
demanded on its behalf by Government. During the first years of its existence 
the Department of Science and Art was enabled to spend annually between 
£160,000 and £200,000 in enlarging its collections.! It is nevertheless to 
be regretted that a museum like this, which is at the same time a school of 
art and science, should have been located in one of the aristocratic suburbs 
of London, far from the centre of the town and the homes of the artisans 
who were primarily intended to profit by its establishment. In order to obviate 
this disadvantage, a branch museum has been opened in the industrial suburb of 
Bethnal Green, and, besides this, the art schools throughout the country are 
supplied with loan collections. 

London is particularly rich in special museums, some of which have already 
been referred to. Amongst others which contribute most largely to the progress 
of science we may mention the Geological Museum in Jermyn Street, founded by 
De la Beche, and John Hunter's Anatomical Museum in the College of Surgeons, 

* Perrot, Revue dea Beux-Mondes, Mai 1, 1878. 

t The Science and Art Department of South Kensington expends annually about £330,000, \n 
addition to wRioh £40,000 are voted for the maintenance of the museum, and a considerable sum (in 1879 
£8,000) for buildings in course of construction. The expenses of the National Portrait Gallery and 
Patent Museum, though popularly supposed to form part of the South Kensington Museum, are defrayed 
from other sources. 



LONDON. 



191 



Lincoln's Inn Fields. Several of the learned societies boast tlie possession of 
libraries and valuable scientific collections. The Royal Society, the Geological 
Society (the first of the kind founded), the Anthropological Institute, the Linnean 
Society, and more especially the Royal Geographical, which has taken the initiative 
in so many voyages of exploration— all these societies prosper, and have the 
command of revenues which enable them to increase their collections to the profit 



Fig. 99.— Kew and Richmond. 
Scale 1 : 65,000. 




20' 



W.of G. 



15' 



iMile. 



of science.* The Zoological Society, installed in a portion of Regent's Park, owns 
the finest collection of living animals in the world, and attracts annually close 
upon a million visitors. There are Horticultural and Botanical Societies, both in 
the enjoyment of fine gardens, but they are far inferior to the Botanical Gardens 
at Kew, which are the richest of their kind in the world, and are maintained 



* The Eoyal Geographical Society has nearly 4,000 members, and enjoys an annual income of 
£12,000. 



192 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

with the greatest liberality. On Sunday afternoons the extensive pleasure grounds 
attached to them are crowded with visitors, happy to escape the ennui of the 
town. Three museums and numerous conservatories are scattered within its 
precincts. A winter garden, covering an area of an acre and a half, is 
intended to afford shelter to plants of the temperate regions. The palm stove 
rises to a height of QQ feet, and walking amongst the tropical plants which it con- 
tains, we might fancy ourselves transported into a virgin forest of the New World, 
if it were not for the roof of glass visible through the fan-shaped foliage above our 
heads. There are many private gardens in the vicinity of London, and more 
especially near Chiswick, which almost rival Kew in the extent of their conserva- 
tories and the luxuriance of their vegetation. 

As to the Crystal Palace, which occupies an eminence to the south of London, 
in the midst of a vast garden 200 acres in extent, it is essentially a place of 
recreation. The building contains, no doubt, many beautiful imitations of works 
of architecture and art, but the character of the entertainments offered to the 
public shows only too plainly that amusement is the principal object aimed at. 
The same may be said of the Alexandra Palace, commanding a magnificent prospect 
of woods and meadows from its vantage-ground on Muswell Hill. Quite recently, 
after twenty- five years of litigation, the City of London has obtained possession 
of Epping Forest, an extensive tract of woodland to the north-east, which forms 
a most welcome addition to the public parks of the metropolis. 

London, though it contains one- eighth of the total population of the British 
Isles, is not the seat of a university, like Oxford or Cambridge, or even Durham 
or St. Andrews. True, Sir Thomas Gresham, a wealthy London merchant, devised 
extensive estates, about the middle of the sixteenth century, for the purpose of 
endowing a school of learning ; but this legacy, stated to be actually worth 
£3,000,000,* was wasted by its guardians, and supports now merely a Col- 
lege where lectures are occasionally delivered to miscellaneous audiences. 
The University of London is not a teaching corporation, but an examining 
body, which dispenses its degrees to any candidate who may present himself, 
without exacting any other conditions than his competency. But though the 
superior schools of London may not officially occupy the same rank as the colleges 
of Oxford and Cambridge, they nevertheless turn out excellent scholars, and 
devote more especially attention to experimental science and the exigencies of 
modern society. Medicine, almost completely neglected in the old universities, is 
one of those sciences which may most successfully be studied in London, where 
there are eleven medical schools connected with the public hospitals, in addition 
to University College and King's College. University College e:^cludes religious 
instruction altogether, and Hindus, Parsees, and Jews sit side by side with their 
Christian fellow-students ; whilst King's College bases its course of instruction 
upon the principles of the Church of England, interpreted in a spirit of liberality. 
Women have enjoyed the right of taking part in the course of education of 
University College since 1869, and may present themselves for examination 

* Times, October 2nd, 1878. 



LONDON. 193 

before the authorities of the London University. Besides this, there are three 
colleges specially established for the higher education of women. 

There are four great public schools for boys — Westminster, St. Paul's, Merchant 
Taylors', and Christ's Hospital ; numerous middle- class schools, supported by 
corporations, societies, or endowments ; and a multitude of elementary schools. 
These latter are in a great measure under the administration of a School Board 
elected by the ratepayers, and it will convey some notion of their importance if 
we state that they are attended by close upon half a million of pupils.* 

If London, notwithstanding its many great schools, is not the university centre 
of England, and is bound to recognise the prerogatives of Oxford and Cambridge, 
it may at all events claim to be the scientific, literary, and art centre of all the 
countries where English is the common tongue. It publishes more books than any 
other town, is the seat of the most flourishing scientific societies, possesses the most 
valuable art collections and the most famous exhibition galleries, and its boards 
confer distinction upon the actors who appear upon them. The most valued 
reviews and journals, which may not only claim to be the " fourth estate " of the 
realm, but also sway public opinion throughout the world, are published in London. 
The newspaper printing-offices are amongst the most wonderful industrial establish- 
ments of the metropolis. 

London does not hold the first place amongst the industrial centres of the 
British Isles. It is not the equal of Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, 
or Glasgow in any special branch of manufacture. Yet, if the workshops and 
factories scattered through the various quarters of London could be combined 
to form a town by themselves, it would very soon become clear that in the totality 
of its manufactures the metropolis is still the first town of England, and 
that the name of Cockneys, contemptuously applied to all who live within 
the sound of Bow bells, has not been earned through a life of idleness. The 
majority of the factories lie within a huge semicircle, which bounds the City 
towards the east and south, and extends from Clerkenwell, through Spitalfields, 
Bethnal Green, Mile End, Eotherhithe, and Southwark, to Lambeth ; but there is 
not a quarter of the town where workmen engaged in some useful occupation are 
not to be met with.t London is more especially noted for its pottery, cutlery, 

* Population of school age, Christmas, 1878 729,710 

Children in primary schools 444,322 

Average daily attendance 350,507 

Total expenditure of School Board, 1879 £470,543 

t Occupations of the inhabitants of London (1871) : — 

Males and Females 

Females. only. 

General and Local Government ..... 31.952 1,591 

Army and Navy 18,464 — 

Learned Professions (Literature, Art, and Science) . 96,096 37,781 
Persons engaged in entertaining and performing 

personal oflfices for man 314,7il 262,100 

Persons who buy and sell, keep or lend money, houses, 

or goods. 86,957 8,757 

Conveyance of men, animals, goods, or messages . 134,014 1,096 

Agriculture . 15,790 1,739 

Persons engaged about animals ..... 12,907 124 

Industrial classes 725,695 220,923 

Labourers, &c 112,162 13,782 



194 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

fire-arms, machinery of every description, watches, jewellery, and furniture. It 
builds and fits out vessels, though on a much-reduced scale since the introduction 
of iron steamers, which can be more economically produced in the northern ports. 
The silk industry, first introduced by French Huguenots towards the close of the 
seventeenth century, still keeps its ground. Tan-yards, sugar refineries, and dis- 
tilleries are of great importance. The breweries are vast establishments, and the 
excise dues exacted from them considerably swell the receipts of the treasury. 
Nearly all of them have secured a supply of pure water by boring artesian wells, 
one of which descends a depth of 1,020 feet, to the beds of the lower greensand. 
A large proportion of the market gardens of all England lie in the vicinity of 
London, but they cannot compare with those to be seen around Paris. 

As a money market London is without a rival in the world. Even France can- 
not dispose of savings equal to those which annually accumulate in England, which 
latter enjoys, in addition, the advantages accruing from the universal practice of 
' banking. The City of London probably has at its immediate command a capital 
equal in amount to what could be furnished jointly by all the other money markets 
of the world, and this circumstance enables her, to the detriment of other countries, 
to take advantage of every opportunity for realising a profit that may present itself 
in any quarter of the globe * The great bankers in Lombard Street, the worthy 
successors of those Lombards and Florentines who first initiated Englishmen into 
the mysteries of banking, are applied to by every Government in distress, by mining 
and railway companies, by inventors desirous of converting their ideas into ringing 
coin, by speculators of every description. There are but few Grovernments which, 
in addition to an official envoy accredited to the court of St. James, do not maintain 
a representative attached to the money-lenders in Lombard Street. Thanks to 
the information which flows into London as the centre of the world, the City 
capitalists are the first to learn where judicious investments can be made. Nearly 
every colonial enterprise is "financed" by London; the mines of South America 
are being worked indirectly on behalf of the bankers of the City, who have also 
constructed, the railways and harbours of Brazil, the Argentine Confederation, and 
Chili ; and it is the city which nearly all the submarine telegraph companies of the 
world have chosen as their head- quarters. 

The first town of the world as a money market, London ranks foremost, too, as 
a place of commerce and a shipping port. It is the greatest mart in the universe for 
tea, Coffee, and most kinds of colonial produce. The wool of Australia and Africa 
finds its way into its warehouses, and foreign purchasers are compelled to replenish 
their supplies there. A large quantity of merchandise only reaches continental 
Europe through the port of the Thames as an intermediary.! 

* W. Bagehot, " Lombard Street." 

t Foreign trade of London (Exports and Imports) :— 

l''^35 . . . £333,160 1873 . . . £184,759,500 

1~<^0 . . . £10,000,000 1876 . . . £186,700,000 

^791 • • • £31,000,000 1879 . . . £146,741,000 

1825 . . . £42,803,145 

For further details on the Trade and Shipping of London we refer the reader to the Appendix. 



LONDON. 195 

The commerce whicli London carries on with foreign countries has increased 
twenty-fold since the beginning of the eighteenth century, and continues to increase 
with every decade. The Port of London is a world of which we can form no 
notion unless we enter it. In fact, legally no less than virtually, the whole 
estuary of the Thames belongs to it.* It is bounded on the east by an ideal line 
drawn from the North Foreland, near Margate, through the Gunfleet lightship to 
Harwich Naze. A few of the small ports embraced within these limits enjoy some 
local importance, but are nevertheless mere enclaves of the great port of London. 
They are outports established for the convenience of fishermen and traders, and 
may fairly be described as maritime suburbs of London. As we leave the Nore 
Light behind us and journey up to London, the number of vessels increases rapidly. 
Not a group of houses on the bank but a cluster of vessels may be seen at anchor 
in front of it, nor a jetty but its head is surrounded by shipping engaged in dis- 
charging or receiving cargo. Above Sheerness the banks approach each other, and 
higher up we find ourselves upon a river lined for miles by quays, where cranes are 
steadily at work hoisting grain from the holds of ships into granaries. At times 
we are hardly able to distinguish the houses along the banks, so closely packed is 
the shipping, and at frequent intervals long rows of masts may be seen stretch- 
ing away inland until lost to sight in the distance. These rows mark the sites of 
docks. 

Towards the close of last century the quay at which it was legally permitted 
to discharge certain kinds of merchandise only extended from the Tower to 
Billingsgate, a distance of 1,450 feet. There were "tolerated" quays beyond 
these narrow limits ; but the conveniences for landing merchandise were of so 
insufficient a nature as to constantly interfere with the conduct of commerce. 
It was difficult, moreover, to bring order into piles of merchandise deposited upon 
the quay, and the losses sustained by pillage were estimated to amount annually 
to nearly half a million sterling. Most of the vessels were detained in the port 
for weeks and months, and were able only to discharge cargo by means of lighters 
communicating with the shore. 

Such a state of affairs could be permitted to exist no longer, more especially since 
the wars of the French Revolution and the Empire had enabled London to become 
the intermediary of nearly all the trade which was carried on between continental 
Europe and the New World. The merchants of London resolved upon following 
the example set by Liverpool, which already had docks surrounded by ware- 
houses, and able to accommodate not only ships, but also their cargoes. After 
a tedious discussion in Parliament, a Joint-Stock Company was founded for the 
purpose of providing London with its first docks The site selected lay at the 
neck of the peninsula known as the Isle of Dogs, half-way between London 
and Blackwall. Pitt, in 1800, laid the foundation stone. The site was well 
chosen, for vessels drawing 24 feet of water were able to enter the new docks, 
without first being obliged to make the circuit of the peninsula. The great 
success of these docks demonstrated the necessity of constructing others. These 
* *'De jure maritimo et navali," 1677. 



196 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



West India Docks had no sooner been completed than the East India Docks, 
originally reserved to Indiaraen, but now open to all vessels, were taken in 
hand. Next followed the London Docks, still more important on account 
of their proximity to the City and the vastness of their warehouses, more 
especially designed for the storage of rice, tobacco, wine, and spirits. After 
these were constructed the St Katherine Docks, on the same bank of the 
river, and even nearer to the City than the preceding. In proportion to their 
size they are the busiest docks of London. In order to obtain the site they 
cover it was necessary to pull down 1,250 houses, inhabited by nearly 12,000 
persons. 

Since then works more considerable still have been carried out. The 
Victoria Docks, below the river Lea, only recently completed, cover an area 



Fig. 100. — The Docks of London. 
Scale 1 : 65.500. 




I of Gr. 



Mile. 



of no less than 180 acres, and there is reason to believe that they will be able, 
for some time to come, to meet the growing requirements of commerce. All the 
docks hitherto mentioned are on the left bank of the river, but though the right 
bank near London is of inferior importance, owing to its remoteness from the 
City, it, too, has been furnished with docks for the storage of timber and corn. 
Lower down, the right bank enjoys a commercial preponderance, for on it rise 
Deptford, with its huge foreign cattle market, Greenwich, Woolwich, Gravesend, 
Sheerness, and other towns. 

The Docks of London do not at first sight strike the beholder as much as 
would be expected, for they are scattered throughout the meanest quarters of the 
town, and dwarfed by the tall warehouses which surround them. If we would gain 
a true idea of the prodigious commerce carried on within them, we must be prepared 
to spend days, nay, weeks, within their limits, travelling from warehouse to ware- 



LONDON. 197 

house, from basin to basin, inspecting interminable rows of vessels of every size 
and description, examining the piles of merchandise imported from every quarter 
of the globe, and watching the loading and unloading of vessels, Liverpool 
surpasses the capital in the value of its foreign exports, but lags far behind it as a 
port for the importation of wine, sugar, and colonial goods of every description. 
Altogether London is still the superior of Liverpool, even though the shipping 
belonging to its port be of somewhat inferior tonnage 

London, outside the City, is not in the enjoyment of municipal institutions, 
no doubt because Parliament dreads creating a rival which might overshadow it. 
Commercial and financial interests have their natural centres there, but not political 
ones. For purposes of local government London is divided into a multitude of dis- 
tricts, which in many instances overlap each other. So great are the confusion and 
intricacy of these administrative jurisdictions that but few Londoners take the 
trouble to penetrate their mystery, and are content to pay the rates and taxes 
on condition of being troubled no further. The legislature has handed London 
over to the tender mercies of powerful gas, water, and railway companies, and 
given life to not a single local representative body strong and powerful enough 
to assert the claims of the ratepayers. As recently as 1855 London was governed 
by 300 distinct local bodies, counting 10,448 members, and exercising their 
authority by virtue of 250 Acts of Parliament.* The City, which alone enjoys 
municipal institutions, forms virtually a town within the town, whilst the 
remainder of the metropolis is governed by 38 Local Boards or Vestries, 30 
Boards of Guardians for the administration of the Poor Laws, a Metro- 
politan Board of Works, a School Board, and several other bodies, wholly or in 
part elected by the ratepayers. Even the Dean and Chapter of Westminster still 
exercise a few remnants of their old municipal functions. These various bodies 
count no less than 8,073 members, supported by an army of local officials. But 
notwithstanding this strange complication of the official " machinery, and the 
financial confusion necessarily resulting from it, London spends less money than 
Paris, and is burdened with a smaller debt, which is partly accounted for by 
the fact that most of the great public works have been carried out by private 
companies, and not by the town.t The Metropolitan Police force + is under the 
orders of the Home Secretary, but the City authorities maintain a police of 
their own.§ 

The Metropolitan Board of Works, whose 44 members are elected by the 
Corporation of the City of London, and by 38 parishes or local districts, is 
the most important of these local governing bodies. It has charge of the main 

* Firth, "Municipal London;" Dexter, "The Government of London ; " Raveusiein, "London." 

t In 1875 the local authorities of the metropolis, including the City, expended £9,071,000, or 
£2 158. 9d, per head of the population. Of this sum municipal and sanitary objects absorbed £6,397,000, 
the maintenance of the poor £1,723,000, and public education £895,000. The total debt amounted to 
£22,688,000 (Captain Craigie, Journal of the Statistical Society, 1877). In 1878 the Metropolitan Board alone 
spent £3,680,000, and had a debt of £10,310.000, whilst the School Board spent £1,189,713. 

X 10,900 officers and men. In 1879 83,914 persons were arrested, of whom 33,892 were drunk or 
disorderly; 14,562 were charged with burglary, robbery, &c. ; and 10,866 with assaults. 

§ 825 officers and men. 



198 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

drainage, the formation of new streets, the supervision of the gas and water 
supply, the fire brigade,* and the public parks and gardens. But, however 
great its influence, it is overshadowed by the powerful corporation which has its 
seat in the City. In 1835, when the municipalities of the kingdom were reformed, 
the City of London was the only place of importance exempted from the opera- 
tion of that Act, and it continues to enjoy, up to the present day, its ancient 
privileges and immunities. Old English customs are preserved there to an 
extent not known elsewhere, except, perhaps, in the decayed municipal boroughs 
whose maladministration has only recently been exposed in Parliament. The 
City is divided into 26 wards, and these into 207 precincts, the latter consist- 
ing sometimes of a single street. The inhabitants of each precinct, whether 
citizens or not, meet annually a few days before St. Thomas's Day, when the 
afi'airs of the precinct are discussed, and the roll of candidates for election as 
common councilmen and inquestmen is made up. The *' Wardmote " meets on 
St. Thomas's Day for the election of a common councilman, and of other officials, 
including the inquestmen charged with the inspection of weights and measures 
and the removal of nuisances. At this meeting only freemen of the City, who 
are also on the parliamentary voters' list, have a right to vote. On the Monday 
after Twelfth Day the inquestmen of the wards attend before the Court of 
Aldermen sitting at the Guildhall, when the common councilmen chosen are 
presented. The wardmote likewise elects the aldermen, but for life, and these, 
jointly with the common councilmen, form the Court of Common Council, which 
thus consists of 233 members, 26 of whom are aldermen. The Lord Mayor, 
whose election takes place annually on the 29th of September, presides over the 
Courts of Aldermen and of Common Council, as well as over the *' Common Hall " 
of the Livery. As a rule the senior alderman who has not served the office is 
chosen Lord Mayor, the privilege of nomination being vested in the Common Hall, 
that of election in the Court of Aldermen, and the same person generally holds the 
office only once for one year. The election is formally approved by the Lord 
Chancellor on behalf of the Crown. On the 8th of November the Lord Mayor 
elect is sworn in before the Court of Aldermen, and invested with the insignia of 
his office, and on the day after, " Lord Mayor's Day," he proceeds in state to the 
High Court of Justice, where he takes the oath of allegiance. On his return to 
the City the procession is joined by the Judges, her Majesty's Ministers, the 
foreign ambassadors, and other distinguished persons, to be entertained at a 
magnificent banquet at the Guildhall, the expenses of which are borne jointly by 
the Lord Mayor and the two Sheriffs. The Lord Mayor holds the first place in 
the City next to the sovereign ; he is, ex officio, a member of the Privy Council, 
a Judge of the Central Criminal Court, a Justice of the Peace in the metropolitan 
counties. Lord- Lieutenant and Admiral of the Port of London, and Conservator 
of the Thames. In order to assist him in keeping up the traditional reputation 
of the City for hospitality, he is allowed an annual stipend of £10,000. 

* 505 men, with 4 floating fire-engines on the Thames, 32 steam-engines, 112 manual engines, and 
129 fire-escapes. Between 1,600 and 1,700 fires break out annually, but of these less than 200 are 
described as "serious." 



SUEREY. 199 

The two Sheriffs are elected by the Livery on Midsummer Day, and their 
office, though one of distinction, is costly, for, like their chief, they are expected 
to give annually a number of dinners. The Recorder of London is the chief City 
judge and official *' orator ; " the Common Serjeant presides in the City of London 
Court ; an Assistant Judge in the Lord Mayor's Court. A Chamberlain acts as 
City Treasurer. 

Most of the great companies date from the thirteenth or fourteenth century, 
though they spring, no doubt, from the guilds of Saxon times. Originally they 
were associations of persons carrying on the same trade ; but they are so no 
longer, and only the Apothecaries, the Groldsmiths, the Gunmakers, and the 
Stationers are still charged with the exercise of certain functions connected 
with the trade they profess to represent. Out of a total of 79 companies, 73 
enjoy the distinction of being " Livery Companies ; " that is, the liverymen 
belonging to them are members of the Common Hall. An order of precedence 
is rigidly enforced by these companies, at the head of which march the Mercers, 
Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Goldsmiths, Skinners, Merchant Taylors, Haber- 
dashers, Salters, Ironmongers, Yintners, and Clothworkers. Much has been 
fabled about the enormous income of these companies, and there can be no doubt 
that they expend large sums in feasting. It must be said to their credit, at the 
same time, that all of them support charitable institutions, that several amongst 
them maintain excellent schools, and that if they do feast, they do so at their 
own expense. 

Surrey. — A large portion of this county, with three-fourths of its inhabitants, is 
included in the metropolis, and nearly the whole of the remainder of its population 
is more or less dependent upon London for its existence. The surface of the 
county, with its alternation of hill and dale, is beautifully diversified. The chalk 
range of the Downs intersects it through its entire length, forming a bold escarp- 
ment towards the fertile valley of the Thames, and merging to the southward 
into the Weald, not yet altogether deprived of the woods for which it was 
famous in former times. The Thames bounds the county on the north, and 
the tributaries which it receives within its limits, including the Wey, Mole, 
and Wandle, rise to the south of the Downs, through natural gaps in which 
they take their course to the northward. The views commanded from the 
Downs and from the hills in the Weald are amongst the most charming in the 
neighbourhood of London, that from Leith Hill extending over a wild woodland 
scenery to the English Channel, whilst Box Hill,, near Dorking, possesses features 
of a more cultivated cast. The Downs are. likewise of some strategical importance 
with reference to the metropolis, to the south of which they form a natural 
rampart. In the case of an invasion it is believed by military men that the fate 
of London will depend upon the results of a battle to be fought in the neighbour- 
hood of the " passes " which lead through them at Reigate and Dorking, and 
propositions have been freely made to enhance their natural strength by a chain 
of detached forts. Considerable portions of Surrey consist of barren heaths and 



200 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

moorish tracts, but the greater part of the county is devoted to agriculture and 
market gardening. Hops are amongst its most appreciated productions. The 
manufacturing industry, excepting within the limits of London, is but of small 
importance. 

The river Wey, which pays its tribute to the Thames below Weybridge, 
rises in Wiltshire, and soon after it has entered Surrey flows past the ancient town 
of Farnham, which boasts a stately moated castle, the residence of the Bishops of 
Winchester, and carries on a brisk trade in hops and malt. The height to the 
north of that town is occupied by the camp of Aldershot, whilst below it the Wey 
passes Moor Park, where Dean Swift wrote his "Tale of a Tub " and made love to 
Stella, Lady Giffard's waiting-maid. Here also are the beautiful ruins of Waverley 
Abbey. Between Farnham and Guildford the fertile valley of the Wey is bounded 
on the north by the " Hog's Back," a link of the Downs. The river first becomes 
navigable at Godalming, which retains some portion of the stocking manufacture 
for which it was formerly celebrated, and has recently acquired fresh importance 
through the transfer to it of Charterhouse School from London. Below this town the 
Wey escapes through a cleft in the Downs. This cleft is commanded by the town 
of Guildford, whose antiquity is attested by a Norman castle, a grammar school 
dating from the time of Henry VIIL, and an interesting old church. Guildford 
has an important corn market, and possesses large breweries. In the beauty of its 
environs few towns can rival it, clumps of trees, carefully kept fields, ivy-clad 
walls, and shady lanes winding up the hillsides, combining to form a picture of 
rural beauty and tranquillity. Only a short distance to the north of the town we 
enter a heathy district in the vicinity of Woking. Before leaving this south-western 
portion of the county there remains to be noticed the small town of Haslemere, 
close to the Hampshire border, which manufactures walking-sticks and turnery. 

Dorking, 10 miles to the east of Guildford, commands another gap in the 
northern Downs, and is seated amidst much-admired scenery. Near it are Deep- 
dene, the seat of Mrs. Hope, full of art treasures, and the "Rookery," where 
Malthus was born in 1776. Dorking is noted for its fowls. The Mole, which flows 
near the town, derives its name from a chain of •" swallows " into which it 
disappears at intervals. It runs past Leafherhead and Cohham, and enters the 
Thames at Molesey, opposite Hampton Court Palace. 

Heigate, near a third gap in the Downs, which here bound the lovely Holms- 
dale on the north, has deservedly grown into favour with London merchants as a 
place of residence. Near its suburb Redhill are an Asylum for Idiots and the 
Reformatory of the Philanthropic Society. Fuller's earth is dug in the neigh- 
bourhood. 

Epsom, in a depression on the northern slopes of the Downs, was a resort of 
fashion in the seventeenth century, when its medicinal springs attracted numerous 
visitors. The famous racecourse lies on the Downs to the south of the town, and 
not less than 100,000 persons have assembled on it on Derby Day. Eicell, a 
small village near -Epsom, has powder-mills. Near it is Nonsuch Park, with a 
castellated mansion, close to the site of an ancient palace of King Henry VIII. 



SUEREY. 



201 



' All the other towns and villages of Surrey are hardly more than suburbs of 
the great metropolis. Foremost amongst them in population is Croydon, an 
ancient town, with the ruins of a palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury (who 
now usually resides in the neighbouring Addiugton Park), an ancient grammar 
school, and an old church recently restored. The Wandle, which flows past Croydon, 



Fig. 101. — Guildford and Godalmiko. 
Scale X : 63,000. 




Mile. 



affords some good fishing, and in its lower course sets in motion the wheels of the 
paper and rice mills of Wandsirorth, a south-western suburb of London. Other 
suburbs are Noricood, 3Iitcham, Tooting, and Wimbledon, on the edge of an open 
gorse-covered heath, upon which the National Rifle Association holds its annual 
gatherings. Amongst the towns and villages seated on the banks of the Thames, 

110— E 



202 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

those of Putney, Kew, Richmond, and Kingston (with Surbiton) are of world-wide 
renown. The park near Richmond is nearly 9 miles in circumference, its sylvan 
scenery is of extreme beauty, and many fine distant views are commanded from it. 
Higher up on the Thames are Molesey, Walton, Weijhridge, Chertsey, and Eghmn. 

Kent, a maritime county, stretching from the Lower Thames to the English 
Channel, is of varied aspect, and the beauty of its scenery, joined to the variety 
and nature of its productions, fairly entitles it to the epithet of "The Garden of 
England," aspired to by several of the other counties. The chalky range of the 
northern Downs traverses the county from the borders of Surrey to the east coast, 
where it terminates in bold cliffs, perpetually undermined by the sea. These Downs 
are cleft by the valleys of the rivers which flow northward to the Thames, or into 
the sea, and amongst which the Darent, the Medway, and the Stour are the most 
important. The country to the north of the Downs consists of gravel and sand 
overlying the chalk, but Shooter's Hill (446 feet), near Woolwich, is an insulated 
mass of clay. The fertile Holmsdale stretches along the interior scarpment of the 
Downs, and separates them from a parallel range of chalk marl and greensand, 
which marks the northern limit of the Weald, within which nearly all the rivers 
of the county have their source. Extensive marshes occur along the Thames, on 
the isles of Grain and Sheppey, along the estuary of the Medway, in the tract which 
separates the Isle of Thanet from the bulk of the county, and on the Channel 
side, where Romney Marsh, famous for its cattle and sheep, occupies a vast area. 

The agricultural productions of Kent are most varied. More hops are grown 
there than in any other part of England, and vast quantities of cherries, apples, 
strawberries, and vegetables annually find their way to the London market. 
Poultry of every sort is large and fine ; the rivers abound in fish ; while the native 
oysters bred in the Swale, an arm of the sea which separates the Isle of Sheppey 
from the mainland, are most highly appreciated for their delicate flavour. 

Kent, owing to its proximity to the continent, was the earliest civilised 
portion of England, but is now far surpassed in wealth and population by other 
counties. It has nevertheless retained some of its ancient customs and privileges, 
secured through the stout resistance which the yeomanry to the west of the Med- 
way opposed to the victorious march of the Conqueror. Ever since that time the 
inhabitants of the western part of the county have been known as '* Men of Kent," 
those of the eastern division as *' Kentish men." Most remarkable amongst these 
privileges is the tenure of land known as *' gavelkind," in virtue of which an 
estate descends to all the sons in equal proportions, unless there be a testamentary 
disposition to the contrary. 

The north- westernmost corner of Kent, including the large towns of Deptford. 
Greenwich, and Woolwich, lies within the limits of the metropolis. The famous 
dockyard of Deptford, whence Sir Francis Drake started upon his voyages of 
adventure, was closed in 1872, and most of its buildings are utilised as cattle- 
sheds, sheep-pens, and slaughter-houses, for it is here that all foreign cattle must 
be landed and slaughtered, in order that infectious diseases may not gain a footing 
in the country through their dispersion. The Ravensbourne, a small river which 



KENT. 203 

rises in Caesar's Well near Keston, flows past the old market town of Bromley y 
drives the mill-wheels of Lewisham, and separates Deptford from Greenwich. 
Greenwich is celebrated for its Hospital, consisting of four blocks of buildings erected 
from designs by Sir Christopher Wren. The invalided sailors for whom this great 
work was erected know it no longer, they being paid a pension instead of being 
lodged and boarded, and their place is now occupied by the Royal Naval College 
and a Naval Museum. The old refectory, or hall, a magnificent apartment of 
noble proportions, is used as a gallery of pictures illustrating England's naval 
glories. On a verdant hill which rises in the centre of Greenwich Park, laid 
out by Le Notre, there stands an unpretending building. This is the Royal 
Observatory, rendered famous by the labours of Flamsteed, Halley, Bradley, and 
Maskelyne, who have found a worthy successor in the present Astronomer-Royal. 
This Observatory is fitted out with the most costly instruments. The initial meridian 
almost universally accepted by mariners throughout the world passes through the 
equatorial cupola forming its roof Strange to relate, the exact difference in 
longitude between Greenwich and Paris is not yet known. It probably amounts 
to 2° 20' 15",* but authorities differ to the extent of 400 feet. 

To Greenwich succeeds Woolwich, which owes its growth to its great Arsenal, 
its barracks, Military Academy, and other establishments. The Arsenal covers 
a very large area, and is a great repository and storehouse, no less than a manu- 
factory, of guns, carriages, and warlike materials of every kind, not infrequently 
employing 10,000 workpeople. The dockyard was closed in 1869, and is now used 
for stores. North Woolwich is on the left bank of the river. Shooter's Hill, to 
the south of Woolwich Common, is famous for its views of London and the valley of 
the Thames. Charlton, Blackheath, and Lee are populous places between Woolwich 
and Greenwich, with numerous villa residences. Chislehurst, a few miles to the 
south, beautifully situated on a broad common surrounded by lofty trees, contains 
Camden House, once the residence of the antiquary after whom it is named. 
Napoleon III. retired to this house, and died there an exile. 

Descending the Thames below Woolwdch, we pass village after village along the 
Kentish shore, whilst the flat shore of Essex is but thinly peopled. Immediately 
below Plumstead Marshes, on which some factories have been established, we 
arrive at the pretty village of Erith, close to the river bank, with extensive 
ballast pits and iron works in its rear. Dartford, a flourishing place, where paper- 
making and the manufacture of gunpowder are extensively carried on, lies on 
the river Darent, a short distance above its outfall into the Thames. Other paper- 
mills are to be met with at St. Mary^s Cray, on the Cray, which joins the 
Darent at Dartford. We next pass Greenhithe, near which, at the Swine's Camp, 
(now Swanscombe), the men of Kent, led on by Stigand and Egheltig, offered such 
stout resistance to William the Conqueror. Northjieet, with its chalk quarries, 
comes next, and then we reach Gravesend, a shipping port of some importance, 
situated at the foot of gentle hills. The fisheries furnish the chief employment of 
the seafaring population, and most of the shrimps consumed in London are sent 
* Hilgard, "United States Coast Survey, Report for 1874." 



204 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

up from Gravesend. Amongst the many seats in the neighbourhood of this town, 
Cobham Hall, in the midst of a magnificent park almost extending to the Medway, 
is the most important. The pleasure grounds of Rosherville lie at the upper end 
of the town. A ferry connects Gravesend with Tilbury Fort, on the northern 
bank of the river, where Queen Elizabeth in 1588 mustered the forces which were 
to resist the expected invasion of the Spanish Armada. Tilbury, with other 
formidable works of defence on both banks of the river, disposes of means of 
destruction which would frustrate any hostile effort to reach London by way of 
the Thames. 

Serenoaks, in the fruitful tract known as the Holmsdale, in the western part 
of the county, is famed for the beauty of its surrounding scenery. Knole, one of 
the most interesting baronial mansions, adjoins the town, whilst Chevening, full of 
interest on account of its historical associations, with a park extending up to the 
far- seen Knockholt beeches, lies 4 miles to the north-west. Westerham, to the 
west of Sevenoaks, near the source of the Darent, and Wrotham, to the north-east, 
at the southern escarpment of the Downs, are both interesting old market towns. 

The Medway, which flows through a region abounding in picturesque scenery, 
rises close to the famous old watering-place of Tunbridge Wells, which owes more 
to its bracing air than to the medicinal virtues of its hot chalybeate springs. In 
the time of Charles II. the visitors to this place were lodged in small cabins 
placed upon wheels, and the first church was only built in 1658. The neighbour- 
hood abounds in delightful walks, and country seats are numerous. Pemhurst, a 
quaint old village, rises on the Medway, 7 miles to the north-east of the Wells. 
Near it is Penshurst Place, which Edward VI. bestowed upon his valiant standard- 
bearer. Sir William Sidney, amongst whose descendants were Sir Philip, the author 
of ''Arcadia," and Algernon Sidney, whose head fell on the block in 1683. The 
Eden joins the Medway at Penshurst. A short distance above the junction stands 
Hever Castle, the birthplace of the unfortunate Anne Boleyn. 

Tunhridge, at the head of the navigation of the Medway, is a town of con- 
siderable antiquity, with the remains of a castle (thirteenth century), a grammar 
school founded in 1553, and several timbered houses. Wooden articles known as 
Tunbridge-ware are made here, and hops are grown in the neighbourhood. The 
centre of the Kentish hop gardens, however, is Maidstone, lower down on the 
Medway, an interesting old town, with many gabled houses and other ancient 
buildings. In 1567 French refugees introduced the linen industry into Maidstone, 
but that town is at present noted only for its hop trade. Annually during the 
"picking season" thousands of labourers from London invade it and the sur- 
rounding villages. 

Maidstone is the assize town of the county, but yields in population to the 
triple town formed by Rochester, Strood, and Chatham., on the estuary of the 
Medway. Pochester is the oldest of these three. It is the Dubris of the ancieat 
Britons, the Durobrhw of the Romans, the Rqfsceaster of the Saxons. Close to 
the river rises the massive keep of the Norman castle erected in the time of 
William the Conqueror by Bishop Gundulph, the same who built the Tower 



KENT. 205 

of London, as also the cathedral of Rochester. Chatham is a naval and military- 
town. Its dockyard is the largest in the kingdom, next to that of Portsmouth, 
and has been constructed in a great measure by convict labour. Extensive 
lines of fortifications and detached forts envelop the three towns, and no second 
De Ruyter would now dare to sail up the Medway and carry off the vessels 
sheltered by its fortifications. 

Not the least formidable of these have been erected at the mouth of the 
Medway, 10 miles below Chatham, on the isles of Grain and Sheppey. The 
former is in reality only a peninsula, whilst the latter is separated from the rest 
of the county by a shallow arm of the sea, known as the Swale. Sheerness 
occupies the north-west point of the island, and its guns command the entrances 



Fig. 102. — ROCHESTEK AND CHATHAM. 
Scale 1 : 250,000. 



^^w 




^^^ 

te^^ •^#- 



0-25' 



0'3Q' 



E.ofG. 



2 Miles. 



of both the Thames and the Medway. The site of the town, a quaking swamp, 
which had to be solidified by piles before houses could be built upon it, is by no 
means healthy by nature, but by planting pines the sanitary conditions of the 
town and its neighbourhood have been much improved. Queenhorough, close to 
Sheerness, has recently come into notice as the point whence a mail-steamer daily 
departs for Flushing. The stream of passengers, however, flows past this ancient 
town without leaving any mark upon it. At Siftingbourne the train which 
conveys them to London joins the main line from Dover. Sittingbourne, and its 
neighbour Milton, the latter at the head of a small creek, have paper-mills, 
breweries, brick-kilns, and malting-houses. Faversham, at the head of another 
creek, like that of Milton tributary to the Swale, has paper-mills, brick-kilns. 



206 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

gun-cotton and gunpowder works, and oyster beds. It is the shipping port of 
Canterbury, and a place of considerable antiquity, with an old abbey church of 
great size and beauty. Whitdable, another shipping port of Canterbury, lies 
farther to the east, and is principally noticeable for its oyster beds. The owners 
of the oyster fisheries here have formed a co-operative association, which divides 
the produce of the fisheries amongst its members. 

The northern coast of Kent, and more especially the Isle of Thanet, presenting 
its bold cliffs towards the German Ocean, abounds in watering-places much 
frequented by London pleasure-seekers. Heme Bay, though of recent origin, is 
rapidly rising into importance. A few miles to the east of it the towers of 
Eeculver Church form a prominent landmark (see p. 151). Margate, on the 
northern coast of the Isle of Thanet, is one of the most popular watering-places 
in the neighbourhood of London. Doubling the North Foreland, with its far-seen 
lighthouse, we pass Broadstairs, a quiet place, with excellent sands for bathing, 
and reach Ramsgate, a town which is almost as much frequented as Margate, and 
which has an excellent harbour. Pegwell Bay, which adjoins it on the south, is 
noted for its shrimps. 

The river Stour is tributary at present to the bay just named, but formerly 
flowed into the arm of the sea which separated the Isle of Thanet from the 
mainland. Sandicich, a very interesting old town, with many curious buildings, 
stands on the alluvial tract through which the Stour takes its winding course. 
Formerly it was a place of very considerable importance, ranking next to Hastings 
amongst the Cinque Ports, but the alluvial soil washed down by the river has 
silted up the " Haven," and the sea lies now at a distance of 2 miles. A short 
distance to the north of it rise the ruins of the Roman castle of Rutupice (Rich' 
borough), perhaps the most striking relic of old Rome existing in Britain. Near 
its head the Stour flows past Ashford, where there are the extensive railway works 
of the South-Eastern Company; but the largest town within its basin, and historically 
the most interesting of all Kent, is Canterbury^ the Durovernum of the Romans. 
Canterbury is perhaps the oldest seat of Christianity in England, and the venerable 
church of St. Martin's, with its ivy-clad tower, partly constructed of Roman 
bricks, has been styled the " mother church of England," and dates back to pre- 
Saxon times. Since the days of St. Augustine, Canterbury has been the seat of 
the Primate of all England, though at present the Archbishop's principal residence 
is Lambeth Palace in London. Churches and ecclesiastical buildings of every kind 
abound in Canterbury, and constitute its individuality. The bold mass of the 
cathedral towers above all. Founded in 1070, but destroyed by fire in 1174, the 
vast edifice has been almost completely rebuilt since the latter year. The 
church, as it were " a cathedral within a cathedral," is the work of William of 
Sens (1174—1182), and the oldest example of the pointed style in England. The 
choir is rich in precious monuments, including that of Edward the Black Prince. 
The shrine of Thomas a Becket, who was slain at the foot of the altar by order of 
Henry II. for braving the royal authority (1170), was a goal which attracted 
pilgrims from all parts of the world, and Canterbury grew rich on the ofl'erings of 



KENT. 207 

all Christendom. Canterbury no longer holds its ancient rank as a place of 
commerce and industry, notwithstanding the navigable river upon which it stands 
and the five railways which converge upon it. As a wool and hop market it is 
still of some importance, but the industries introduced by French or Flemish 
refugees in the sixteenth century have ceased to be carried on, and the population 
diminishes. But notwithstanding this, Canterbury, with its many churches and 
ancient walls, now converted into public walks, remains one of the most interesting 
and picturesque towns of England. 

The smiling town of Deal rises on the east coast of Kent, opposite the dreaded 
Goodwin Sands, and is separated from them by the roadstead of the Downs. The 
boatmen of Deal are renowned for their daring, and only too frequently are their 
services called into requisition by vessels in distress. Of the three castles which 
Henry YIII. built for the defence of the town, that of Sandown was pulled down 
in 1862, owing to the inroads made by the sea, that of Deal is now in private 
occupation, whilst Walmer Castle continues the official residence of the Lord 
Warden of the Cinque Ports — an honorary office, held in succession by some of 
the most distinguished men of the kingdom. The great Duke of Wellington died 
in this castle in 1852. 

Dover, which retains in French its ancient Celtic appellation of Douvres, 
occupies a commanding position directly opposite to the cliffs rising along the coast 
of France. It is one of those towns which, notwithstanding historical vicissitudes, 
the shifting of sandbanks, and the changes of currents, are able to maintain their 
rank as places of commerce. Its port, at the mouth of the Dour, which enters 
the sea betw^een steep cliffs, offers the greatest facilities to vessels crossing the 
strait. Dover is the only one of the Cinque Ports which has not merely retained its 
traffic, but increased it, and this is exclusively due to the mail-steamers which 
several times daily place it in communication with Calais and Ostend.* Dover 
Harbour scarcely suffices for the many vessels which fly to it during stress of 
weather, and proposals for its enlargement are under discussion. The Admiralty 
Pier is a noble work, extending 700 feet into the sea. It is composed of 
enormous rectangular blocks, formed into a wall rising perpendicularly from the 
sea. A vertical pier like this is exposed to all the fury of the waves lashed by a 
storm, but the recoiling waves enable vessels to keep at a safe distance. A 
powerful fort has been erected at the termination of the pier ; for Dover is a 
fortress, no less than a place of trade. A picturesque castle occupies a command- 
ing site to the north. It consists of structures of many different ages, including 
even a Roman pharos, or watch-tower. Other heights, crowned with batteries and 
forts, command the castle. Only a short distance to the north of Dover, near 
St. Margaret's Bay and the South Foreland, preliminary works, with a view to the 
construction of a railway tunnel between France and England, have been carried 
out. It can no longer be doubted that this great work is capable of realisation. 
The rocks through which the tunnel is to pass are regularly bedded., and without 

* Over 180,000 passengers annually cross from Dover to Calais, as compared with 135,000 who go 
from Folkestone to Boulogne. 



208 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



"faults.'' Will our generation, fully occupied in wars and armaments, leave the 
honour of once more joining England to the continent to the twentieth century ? 

Folkestone, under the shelter of a chalky range known as the " backbone " of 
Kent, possesses advantages superior to those of Dover as n, watering-place, but ranks 
far behind it as a place of commerce. Its trade with Boulogne is, nevertheless, 
of considerable importance, and its fine harbour affords excellent accommodation 
to mail-steamers and smaller craft. Folkestone was the birthplace of Harvey, the 
discoverer of the circulation of the blood, whose memory has been honoured by the 
foundation of a scientific institution. Walking along the top of the cliffs which 
extend to the west of Folkestone, we pass the pretty village of Sandgate and 

Fig. 103.— Dover. 
Scale 1 : 110,000. 




Depth under 5 JTathoms, 



5 to 1 1 Fathoms. 



11 to 16 Fathoms. 
^— ^ 2 Miles. 



Over 16 Fathoms. 



ShorncUffe camp, and reach Hythe, one of the Cinque Ports. Hythe signifies 
" port," but the old town is now separated by a waste of shingles from the sea, and 
its commerce has passed over to its neighbour, Folkestone. Hythe is the seat of 
a School of Musketry, and the low coast westward is thickly studded with rifle- 
butts. The "Royal Military Canal extends from Hythe to Eye, in Sussex, and 
bounds the Eomney Marsh, famous for its sheep, on the landward side. The 
principal town in this tract of rich meadow land is New Romney, one of the Cinque 
Ports, though now at a distance of more than a mile from the sea. Ujdd and 
Dymchurch are mere villages, interesting on account of their antiquity. There 
now only remains to be mentioned the ancient municipal borough of Tenterden, in 
a fertile district on a tributary of the Rother. 



ESSEX. 209 

Essex is a maritime county, separated from Kent by the Thames and its 
estuary, from Middlesex and Hertfordshire by the rivers Lea and Stort, and from 
Suffolk by the Stour. Of the rivers which drain the interior of the county, 
the Roding flows into the Thames, whilst the Crouch, Blackwater, and Colne 
are directly tributary to the German Ocean. These latter expand into wide 
estuaries, forming convenient harbours, and are famous for the breeding of 
oysters. The surface of the country is for the most part undulating. A small 
tract of chalk occurs in the north-west, but loam and clay predominate, and 
form gentle slopes. The coast is much indented and broken up into flat 
islands. It is fringed by marshes protected by sea-walls and drainage works. 
Most of the ancient forests have been extirpated, and it is only quite recently 
that the most picturesque amongst them, that of Epping, narrowly escaped 
destruction through the public-spirited action of the Corporation of London. 
Agriculture constitutes the chief occupation, the requirements of the metro- 
politan markets largely influencing its character. Manufactures, particularly 
of baize, were formerly carried on upon a large scale, but are now of small 
importance. The flsheries, however, together with the breeding and feeding of 
oysters, constitute one of the sources of wealth. 

West Ham, which includes Stratford and other places near the river Lea, in 
the south-western corner of the county, is, properly speaking, an eastern suburb 
of the metropolis, where numerous industries, some of them not of the most 
savoury nature, are carried on. The Royal Victoria and Albert Docks here 
extend for nearly 3 miles along the northern bank of the Thames, between the 
Lea and North Woolwich, and near them are iron works, ship- yards, and chemical 
works. Stratford has extensive railway works, oil and grease works, gutta percha 
factories, and distilleries. Plaistow is noted for its market gardens. Walthamstow, 
a short distance to the north, and on the western edge of Epping Forest, early 
became a favourite residence with opulent citizens, and has still many quaint old- 
fashioned mansions embowered in trees. Waltham, on the Lea, is famed for the 
remains of its ancient abbey. An old bridge connects that part of the parish 
which lies in Essex with Waltham Cross, in Hertfordshire, named from one of the 
crosses erected to mark the resting-places of Queen Eleanor's body. The Govern- 
ment gunpowder-mills are built above Waltham Abbey, on a branch of the Lea. 
They cover an area of 160 acres, and the various buildings are separated by 
meadows and woods, as a safeguard against accidents. Harlow, now a quiet market 
town on the Stort, a tributary of the Lea, formerly carried on the manufacture of silk. 

Epping Forest, which lies between the Lea and the Upper Roding, is named 
after a pleasant market town, the vicinity of which is famed for its dairy farms. 
Descending the Roding, we pass Chipping Ongar, Wanstead, Ilford, and Barking, 
where are the remains of a Cistercian abbey, not far above the mouth of the 
river. Romford, on the Rom, which enters the Thames lower down, is well known 
for its brewery. The ancient town of Brentwood lies to the east of it, in the 
midst of fine scenery. Its old Elizabethan assize-house is at present in the 
occupation of a butcher. There is a grammar school, founded in 1557. 



210 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

There are no towns of note along the Essex bank of the Thames. Hainham, 
on the river Ingrebourne, about a mile from it, is the heart of a fertile market- 
gardening district. It has an early Norman church. Purfleet is merely a small 
village, with lime and chalk quarries, and a Government powder magazine. 
Tilbury, opposite Gravesend, with its old fort, has already been referred to. Thames 
Raven, joined to London by a railway, has not acquired the hoped-for importance, 
since foreign cattle are now obliged to be landed at Deptford ; and only Southend, 
near the mouth of the Thames, has made any progress as a watering-place. At 
Shoehiiryness, 3 miles to the east of it, a Royal School of Gunnery for artillery 
practice has been established. 

The only towns on the Crouch are Billericay, a pretty market town, and 
Burnham, which engages in fishing and oyster-breeding, on the estuary of the 
river. 

The Blackwater rises in the north-western part of the county, and flows 
past Braintree, Coggeshall, Kelvedon, and Witham to Maldon, where it is joined 
by the Chelmer. Braintree is an old town, with narrow streets and many timbered 
houses. The manufacture of crape and silk is still extensively carried on there, 
and in the adjoining village of Booking. Coggeshall has manufactories of silk, 
plush, and velvets. The remains of the Cistercian abbey founded here by King 
Stephen in 1142 are scanty. Near Kelvedon is Tiptree Hall, Mr. Mechi's 
experimental farm, which attracts strangers from every part of the world. Maldon 
occupies a steep eminence by the river Chelmer. Its port is accessible to vessels of 
200 tons burden, and a brisk coasting trade is carried on through it. Maldon is a 
very ancient town, and amongst its buildings are a church of the thirteenth 
century with a triangular tower, and a town-hall of the reign of Henry VII. 
Malting, brewing, and salt-making are carried on. Near the town are the remains 
of Billeigh Abbey, and below it, at the mouth of the Blackwater, is the village of 
Bradtvell, the site of the Roman Othona. 

Chelmsford, the county town, stands at the junction of the navigable Chelmer 
with the Cann. St. Mary's Church, partly dating back to the fifteenth century, 
the free school endowed by Edward YI., the museum and shire-hall, are the 
most interesting buildings. Chief Justice Tindal, whose statue stands in front 
of the shire-hall, was a native of Chelmsford. Agricultural machinery is made, 
and the trade in corn is of importance. Great Bunmow and Thaxted are market 
towns on the Upper Chelmer, and both have interesting old churches. 

Colchester, on the Colne, 8 miles above its mouth at Brightlingsea, is 
the largest town in Essex, and occupies the site of Colonia Camelodumm, the 
first Roman colony in Great Britain. Ample remains of Roman times still 
exist in the town wall ; whilst the keep of the old Norman castle, double 
the size of the White Tower of London, the ruins of St. Botolph's Priory 
Church, and St. John's Abbey Gate, the last relic of a Benedictine monastery 
founded in 1096, adequately represent, the Middle Ages. The museum in the 
chapel of the castle is rich in Roman and other antiquities. The Port or 
'* Hythe " of Colchester is too shallow to admit the huge vessels in which most 



ESSEX. 



211 



of the world's commerce is carried on now, and the maritime trade is consequently 
not of very great importance ; nor is the silk industry in a flourishing condition. 
The celebrated Colchester oysters are taken in the Colne, and fattened on 
" layings'' at Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea, or carried to the oyster parks of 
Ostend. Halstead, on the Upper Colne, has silk and crape mills. 

Sailing along the coast, we pass Clacton and Walton-on- the- Naze , two small 
watering-places, and reach the ancient seaport and bprough of Harwich, built in a 



Fig. 104.— Harwich and Ipswich and their Estuaries. 
Scale 1 : 325,000. 




,a| 80 



an E.ofG. 



mwm 

Foreshore. 



Depth under 2^ 
Fathoms. 



2\ to 5 Fathoms 



Over 5 Fathoms. 



4 MUes. 



commanding position at the confluence of the Stour and the Orwell. The harbour of 
Harwich is the best on the east coast of England, and during the wars with the 
Dutch it played a prominent part. Through the establishment of a regular line 
of steamers, which connect it with Antwerp and Rotterdam, it has recently 
acquired importance as a place of commerce. Landguard Fort and several 
batteries defend its approaches. Dovercourt is a pleasant watering-place a short 
distance above Harwich. Marwingtree, at the head of the estuary of the Stour, 
carries on some trade in malt. 




teytti 


^M 




m 


^ 




M 


^^^ 




K 




m 


m 




S 


^^ 




CHAPTER YII. 

EAST ANGLIA. 
(Suffolk and Norfolk.) 

General Features. 

HE two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk form a distinct geographical 
region, extending along the shore of the German Ocean, from the 
shallow bay known as the Wash as far as the estuary of the 
Stour. Originally these counties were conquered and settled by 
the Angles, and, together with Cambridgeshire, they formed the 
kingdom of East Anglia, which submitted in 823 to the sovereignty of the King 
of Wessex, but was for a considerable time afterwards governed by its own kings 
or ealdormen. Subsequently many Danes settled in the country, which was 
included in the " Danelagh." 

In East Anglia we meet with no elevations deserving even the name of hills. 
The bulk of the country is occupied by chalky downs, known as the East Anglian 
Heights, and forming the north-eastern extremity of the range of chalk which 
traverses the whole of England from Dorsetshire to the Hunstanton cliffs, on the 
Wash. Towards the west these heights form an escarpment of some boldness, but 
in the east they subside gradually, and on approaching the coast sink under 
tertiary beds of London clay and crag. 

The principal rivers are the Orwell, the Deben, the Aide, the Yare, and the 
Waveney. The two latter flow into Breydon Water, a shallow lake 4 miles in 
length, from which the united stream is discharged into the North Sea at Great 
Yarmouth. Formerly the Waveney had a natural outfall farther south, through 
Lake Lothing, near Lowestoft ; but a bar of shingle and sand having formed at its 
mouth, it became necessary to construct a canal in order to afford vessels direct 
access to the upper part of the river. The western portion of the country is 
drained by the Ouse and its tributaries. 

In no other part of England do we meet with so many marks of geological 
agencies as in East Anglia. At one period the Yare and Waveney expanded iDto 
a wide arm of the sea, whilst now they traverse broad plains abounding in marshy 



EAST ANGLIA. 



213 



flats, locally known as ''broads" or *' meres." This gain upon the sea appears, 
however, to have been more than counterbalanced by losses suflPered along parts of 
the coast where the sea, for centuries past, has been encroaching upon the land. 
The climate of East Anglia is colder, and the rainfall less than in the remainder 



Fig. 105. — Gkeat Yaiimouth and Lowestoft. 
From an Admiralty Chart. 







7 \^i ,/;, ^1 









.,/^.f 

.{.^- '' 


M 




<■ J) 



,Brd.hv,V 






7. .5 4 ^- 



6 ROAD 



< 's ; ' ■'» 4 



/4 

5> / e » «b 



•ii ,. , 6 B-^0^\ Uo^'OH S^-^H .\ '■ 



6 ? 



R 

>i'i"-/^^ 



3i VI // 






-««^ 



on I,' Rev fiat 



> • 6- Cheq. ,.. ^;J» \ ^ 7 8 : 72 

• ■ I ■- '^■"»'^l^i r ■■„• *-n,^a/^- .' •' ' '"• ^^^— 



t* 14 



>ii^''^^y,jx 






2iliP;S>^*:-p-' - 




of England ; but the soil is nevertheless productive, and agriculture is carried on 
with remarkable success, 80 per cent, of the total area being under cultivation. 
Wheat and barley are the principal crops grown. The manufactures established by 
Flemish and Huguenot refugees were of considerable importance formerly, but they 



214^ THE BRITISH ISLES. 

have now declined. The fisheries, however, still yield a considerable revenue, 
notwithstanding that Yarmouth is no longer the centre of the herring trade, 
having in a large measure been supplanted by Peterhead and other Scotch towns. 

Topography. 

Suffolk, the country of the "South Folk," is bounded on the south by the 
Stour, which separates it from Essex, and on the north by the Waveney, which 
divides it from Norfolk, and extends from the German Ocean in the east to the 
lowlands of Cambridgeshire in the west. Its principal rivers flow to the German 
Ocean, but the western portion of the county is drained by the Lark, which is 
tributary to the Ouse. 

Haverhill and Clare are small market towns in the upper valley of the 
Stour. Both engage in silk and coir weaving, and Clare possesses, moreover, the 
ruins of an ancient Norman stronghold, aiid of a priory of Augustine friars founded 
in 1248 by one of the Earls of Clare. At Sudbury the Stour becomes navigable 
for barges. This town was one of the first in which Flemish weavers established 
themselves, and the manufacture of silk and crape still gives employment to many 
of its inhabitants. Thomas Gainsborough, the artist, was born here, Hadleigh, on 
the Brett, an affluent of the Stour, was one of the ancient centres of the woollen 
trade, and the neighbouring villages of Kersey and Lindsey are supposed to have 
given their names to certain well-known fabrics. 

Ipswich, the capital town of the county, stands at the head of the estuary of 
the Orwell, and its docks are accessible to vessels drawing 15 feet of water. It 
is a picturesque place, with fourteen churches and several interesting old buildings. 
It was distinguished at one time for its linen trade, and is still a busy place, 
with famous works for the manufacture of agricultural implements and other 
industrial establishments. Its coasting trade is very considerable. Stowmarket 
is a thriving town near the head of the Gipping, which enters the estuary of the 
Orwell. It has a gun-cotton factory. 

Woodbridge, at the head of the estuary of the Deben^ occupies a position analogous 
to that of Ipswich, but is a place of very inferior importance, though enjoying 
a great reputation amongst horse-breeders. Travelling northward along the coast, 
we pass Orford, with the remains of a fanious old castle, on the estuary of the Aide, 
at the back of Orford Ness ; Aldeburgh, or Aldborough, a small seaport and fishing 
station, the birthplace of Crabbe, the poet ; Dunwich, a place of importance 
formerly, but now merely a small watering-place ; and Southwoldf noted for its 
mild climate. In Southwold or Sole Bay w^as fought in 1672 a great naval battle 
between the allied English and French fleets and the Dutch. 

Lowestoft is picturesquely seated upon an eminence to the north of the canal 
which joins Lake Lothing and the Waveney to the sea. It is a curious old place, 
with narrow streets, or '-scores," and gardens sloping down to the "Denes," a 
deserted tract of shingle intervening between the cliff's and the sea. New 
Lowestoft, one of the most cheerful watering-places of England, lies to the south 



SUFFOLK. 



215 



of 'the harbour. For its prosperity Lowestoft is almost exclusively dependent 
upon seaside visitors and its herring fishery, which employs 350 boats. Its 
harbour is formed by two vast piers, and a canal connects it with Lake Lothing, 
which thus constitutes an inner harbour. Beccks and Bungay are towns pleasantly 
seated upon the navigable Waveney. They both carry on a brisk trade in corn, 
and Bungay engages, moreover, in the silk trade and in book-printing. 

Bury St. Edimmds, the capital of Western Suffolk, occupies a pleasant position 
near the head of the river Lark, and is famed for its Salubrity. It acquired fame 
and wealth as the resting-place of St. Edmund, King of East Anglia, who was slain 
by the Danes about the year 870. Its abbey became one of the wealthiest and 
most powerful in England, and its remains, including a great Norman tower built in 
1090, are even now of great interest. But though Bury has ceased to be the great 
religious centre of Eastern England, and wealth is no longer poured in its lap by 



Fitr. 106.— NouMAN TowEH AND Ahbey : BuuY St. Edmunds. 




crowds of pilgrims, it is still a prosperous place, carrying on a large trade in corn, 
brewing an excellent ale, and manufacturing agricultural machinery. Ichvorth, 
in its neighbourhood, is a residence of the Marquis of Bristol, and, standing on high 
ground, it forms a conspicuous landmark. 

Thetford, on the Little Ouse, to the north of Bury, is one of the most ancient 
settlements in the eastern counties, and was a chief residence of the East- Anglian 
kings. In the reign of Edward III. it is said to have contained twenty churches 
and eight monasteries, and the colossal earthworks which cover the " Mount,'' or 
''Castle Hill," bear witness to its former importance. It has settled down now 
into a quiet market-place, depending upon the neighbouring farmers for its existence. 

Newmarket, on the western border of the county, and partly in Cambridgeshire, 
is famous as the " metropolis of the turf," and the virtual head-quarters of the 
Jockey Club. Newmarket Heath, the site of the racecourse, lies to the west of 



216 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



the town. Seven meetings take place annually — the Craven, on Easter Monday, 
and the Houghton on the 3rd of October, being the most famous. There are 
numerous stables belonging to trainers in the outskirts of the town, and about 400 
horses are kept in them during the greater part of the year. 

Norfolk, the country of the " j^orth Folk," is occupied for the greater part by 
the East Anglian heights, and most of its rivers wend their way eastward to the 
Ware, and, having been gathered in Breydon Water, are discharged into the 
German Ocean at Great Yarmouth. The western portion of the county, however, 
forms part of the district of the Fens, and is drained by the sluggish Ouse. 

Norwich, the capital, is seated on the river Wensum, the chief feeder of the 
Yare, and is one of the most interesting cities of England. The Norman keep of 

Fig. 107.— NoKwicH Cathedral. 




the castle, towering over a lofty mound, forms the most conspicuous feature of the 
town. It is used now as a gaol. Near it stands the modern shire-hall, and at 
its foot an extensive cattle market. The cathedral, in the main a Norman edifice, 
the first stone of which was laid in 1096, stands on the low ground near the river, 
which is here spanned by a venerable bridge constructed in 1395. In addition, 
there are numerous churches dating back to the fourteenth century, and to a 
stranger not deterred by the intricacy of its streets, Norwich presents many 
other buildings full of interest. Foremost amongst these are the Guildhall in the 
market-place, St. Andrew's Hall in an old monastery, the Bishop's palace within 



NORFOLK. 



217 



the cathedral precincts, and a grammar school lodged in an ancient charnel-house. 
There are also fragments of the old walls and gates. The town possesses a public 
library of 40,000 volumes, a museum, and a Literary Institution. Placed in the 
centre of a fruitful agricultural district, famous for its cattle and the beauty of its 
horses, it is only natural that Norwich should have become a great mart of 
agricultural produce ; but it is at the same time a manufacturing town of no 
mean importance, although in this respect it is now merely the shadow of its 



Fig. 108.— Norwich. 
Prom the Ordnance Map. Scale 1 : 30,663. 




1 Mile. 



former self. In the sixteenth century about four thousand Flemings, driven from 
their homes by the Spanish Inquisition, settled in Norwich and introduced the 
woollen trade. These were subsequently joined by French Huguenots skilled in 
making brocades and velvets as well as clocks and watches. In Defoe's time the 
city and its neighbourhood employed 120,000 workmen in its woollen and silk 
manufactures. In the present day the staple trade of Norwich is boot and shoe- 
making. Besides this the manufacture of bombasins, crapes, camlets, and other 
fabrics of worsted, mohair, and silk, is carried on, and there are oil-cake factories 

111— E 



218 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

and mustard works. The river below the town has been made navigable for 
vessels drawing 10 feet of water, but Great Yarmouth is virtually its seaport. 

One of the decayed seats of the linen and woollen industry is Af/kham, 10 
miles to the north of Norwich, at the head of the navigation of the Bure, a cheerful 
town in a well- wooded country, known as the " Garden of Norfolk." Near it 
are the villages of North Walsham and Worstead, the latter notable as the place 
where Flemings first manufactured tbe fabric known as worsted. East Dereham 
and Wi/mondham are towns to tbe west of Norwich, the former a flourish- 
ing place surrounded by market gardens and orchards, tbe latter of no note 
since the dissolution of the Benedictine priory around which it grew up. The 
poet Cowper lies buried in the fine old parish chlirch of East Dereham. i>m, on 
the Waveney, is a quaint old market town with a remarkable church. 

We have stated above that the great rivers of Norfolk converge upon Brey- 
don Water, and thus Great Yarinouth, which occupies a flat tongue of land at the 
mouth of the Yare, possesses considerable advantages for carrying on an extensive 
commerce. The town consists of two portions — the old town, which faces the 
Yare, and the modern town, opening on the Marine Parade. A quay, planted 
with lime-trees and lined with curious old houses, extends for nearly a mile along 
the river, and terminates in the south with the Nelson Column, a Doric pillar 144 
feet in height, and surmounted by a statue of Britannia. This is the busy part of 
the town, whilst the Parade, with its two piers, is the chief place of resort for the 
numerous excursionists who visit the town during the summer months. But it 
is neither as a watering-place nor as a commercial port that Yarmouth prospers 
most, for its wealth depends upon its herring and mackerel fisheries, which employ 
a large part of the population. As early as the thirteenth century, and long before 
Beukelszoon's alleged invention, the fishermen of Yarmouth knew how to cure the 
herrings they caught. The inhabitants of the town claim to be descended from a 
Danish colony which established itself on this coast soon after the Saxon 
conquest. Many words of Scandinavian origin are preserved in the local dialect. 
Thus the navigable channels between the banks which skirt the coast are known 
as " Gats," as on the coast of Denmark. Yarmouth .Roads, which are protected by 
these sand-banks from the fury of the North Sea, present the only secure anchorage 
between the Humber and the Thames, and whole fleets of colliers and coasting 
vessels may sometimes be seen riding there. 

Cromer is a pretty fishing and watering place on the north coast of Norfolk, 
which here forms cliffs nearly 200 feet in height. Its vicinity furnishes ample 
proof of the rapidity with which the cliffs are being undermined by the sea, for 
landslips meet the eye in every direction. Clet/, or Clej/ton-next-the-Sea, to the 
west of Cromer, is a small seaport in an uninteresting flat country. Wells-next- 
the-Sea, on a small creek which forms an indifferent harbour, carries on some 
trade in corn, coals, timber, and salt. Near it is Holkham Hall, the magnificent 
seat of the Earl of Leicester. It has a memorial column erected to Mr. Coke, 
who was deservedly honoured for the agricultural improvements he introduced, 
and was created Earl of Leicester in 1837. 



NORFOLK. 219 

King's Lynn is the principal town in that part of the county which is drained by 
the river Ouse. In former times it was a place of considerable importance, and 
carried on a great trade with Flanders, the Hanse Towns, and the Baltic ports ; 
but its commerce fled when its harbour became silted up. Kecently, however, 
a navigable channel has been constructed through the mud and sand-banks 
which intervene between the town and the "deeps" of the Wash, and vessels 
of 300 tons can now enter the Alexandra Docks with every high tide. Flax- 
dressing and machine-making are carried on in the town, and sand, used in the 
manufacture of glass, is enumerated amongst the articles of export. There are 
several quaint old buildings, including a Guildhall, and a custom-house "that might 
have been bodily imported from Flanders ; " and one of the ancient town gates 
still remains. Sandringham, a country seat of the Prince of Wales, lies about 8 
miles to the north of Lynn. Downham Market, on the Ouse above Lynn, carries 
on a brisk trade in butter. Swajfham, in the upland to the east of the Ouse, is a 
well-built market town. Castle Acre, with the picturesque remains of a priory, 
lies about 4 miles to the north of it. 




CHAPTER VIII. 




THE BASIN OF THE WASH. 
(Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire.) 

General Features. 

HESE are the Englisli Netherlands, and one of the districts even 
bears the name of Holland — and that with perfect justice. The 
aspect of the two countries is precisely the same. As in Holland, 
so in the district of the Fens, the country forms a perfect level, 
and a traveller sees trees, houses, windmills, and other elevated 
objects rise gradually above the horizon, like ships on the ocean. The country of 
the Fens occupies an area of nearly 1,200 square miles, and it is intersected by 
innumerable artificial water channels — some of them broad like rivers, and capable 
of bearing large vessels, others mere drains, whose direction is indicated from afar 
by a fringe of reeds. The waters would flood nearly the whole of this region if 
artificial means were not employed to get rid of the excess. The coast, the rivers, 
and the canals are lined by embankments, which prevent the water from invading 
the adjoining fields and meadows. Trees are scarce ; only willows are reflected in 
the sluggish waters, and here and there clumps of verdure surround the isolated 
homesteads. The soil of English Holland is also the same as that of the Nether- 
lands. In a few localities clayey soil of exceeding fertility slightly rises above 
the surrounding plain, and here the most ancient villages of the country are 
found. As a rule, the soil consists of peat, which has gradually been trans- 
formed by cultivation. The district of the Fens lies, moreover, at a higher 
level than the greater part of veritable Holland. It has been raised by warp- 
ing, and as there are no " polders " whose level is inferior to that of the sea, 
the danger from inundation is very much less. In 1613, however, several villages 
were overwhelmed by a flood, and an extensive tract of productive land converted 
temporarily into a marsh, but since that time the sea has not again broken through 
the embankments which form its bounds. The rainfall is less considerable than in 
the Netherlands,* and the floods of the small rivers which intersect the lowlands 

* Average rainfall in the basin of the Wash .... 22 inches. 
»» ,. Holland 27 „ 



THE BASIN OF THE WASH. 



221 



borderiug upon the Wash are consequently not at all comparable to those of the 
Meuse or Rhine. Hence the inhabitants of the country of the Fens have not 
recently been called upon to contest with the elements the possession of the soil 
which bears their habitations. 

The geological history of the two countries is the same, for the sea has struggled 
for the possession of both. Near Peterborough, at a distance of 25 miles from 
the actual coast, oysters and molluscs have been found in large quantities, mingled 
with fresh-water shells. In Whittlesea Mere, now drained, the bones of seals 
have been discovered by the side of those of other animals, and at Waterbeach, 



Fig. 109.— The Wash. 

Scale 1 : 240.000. 




Fcoreshore. 



Depth over 10 
Fathoms. 



5 Miles. 



within 10 miles of Cambridge, the remains of a whale have been unearthed. 
There can be no doubt that the whole of this district of the Fens was formerly 
covered by the sea, and formed a huge marine estuary.* But at the glacial epoch 
the country had already emerged, for everywhere beneath the recent alluvial deposits 
we meet with gravels and boulder clay, and at that time a broad plain probably 
united England to the continent, f Even after the glacial epoch, when oscillation 
of the soil and erosive action of the sea had completely changed the face of the 
country, the district of the Fens yet retained a sufficient elevation to become the 

♦ Evans, " Ancient Stone Implements of Great Britain." 

t Ramsay, "Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain." 



222 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

residence of human beings. This is proved by the flint weapons and implements 
which, together with fresh-water shells and the bones of oxen and mammoths, have 
been discovered on the river terraces along the Ouse. 

The peat of the Fens in several places attains a thickness of lO feet. As in 
the peat of the Netherlands, there are embedded in it the remains of ancient 
forests, the bones of wild boars, stags, and beavers, and more rarely weapons 
and boats which belonged perhaps to the ancient Britons. It has been noticed that 
the most elevated peat yields oak, whilst that nearer the sea conceals only ancient 
forests of fir.* In proportion as the soil subsides these buried trunks of trees 
come to be nearer the surface, just as in Holland, and very frequently the plough- 
share strikes against them. There are localities where the wood recovered from 
the peat sufiices for the construction of fences'. 

The embankment and reclamation of these lowlands were begun more than 
eighteen hundred years ago. An old embankment, traces of which are still visible 
a few miles from the actual coast-line, connects all those towns which are known 
to have been Roman stations. The Normans raised powerful dykes along the 
river Welland for the protection of the adjoining flats, but the drainage works on a 
really large scale date back no further than the seventeenth century, and were 
carried out by a company formed by the Earl of Bedford. It is from this circum- 
stance that a large portion of the Fen country is known as the Bedford Level. Later 
on Dutchmen, taken prisoners in a naval battle fought in 1652, were employed in 
the construction of canals and dykes, and the lessons then conveyed proved very 
profitable. Not a decade has passed since without the extent of cultivable land 
having been increased at the expense of the sea. A line drawn through the ancient 
towns of Wainfleet, Boston, Spalding, Wisbeach, and King's Lynn approximately 
marks the direction of the coast in the Middle Ages. The towns named have 
travelled inland, as it were, ever since, and new dykes and embankments are for 
ever encroaching upon the bay of the Wash. Propositions have even been made 
for blotting out that indenture of the sea altogether. Natural obstacles would not 
prevent such a work from being carried to a happy conclusion, for the Wash is 
encumbered with banks of sand and mud, which would assist such an embank- 
ment. Many of the towns, villages, and homesteads whose names terminate 
in " beach," " sea," " mere," or " ey," proving that formerly they were close to the 
sea, and even on islands in the midst of it, now lie 5, 10, or even 30 miles 
inland, and a few shallow meres are all that remain of an estuary which at 
one time extended inland as far as the Cam, Huntingdon, Peterborough, and 
Lincoln. 

The islands which rose in the midst of this estuary were formerly of great 
historical importance, for they proved an asylum to the persecuted of every race. 
Quaking bogs and marshes enabled Ditmarschers, Frieslanders, and Batavians to 
maintain their independence for a considerable time ; and similarly the inhabitants 
of the Fen country, too, repeatedly endeavoured to throw off" the yoke of their 

♦ John Algernon Clarke, " On the Great Level of the Fens " {Journal of the Agricultural Society of 
England, vol. viii.). 



THE BASIN OF THE WASH. 228 

masters. They might have finally succeeded in this had their half-drowned 
lands been more extensive, and the facilities for communicating with the continent 
greater. When the Saxons invaded England the people of the Fens fled to the 
islands of Ely, Rams-ey, Thorn-ey, and others, and for a considerable time they 
resisted successfully. At a later date the Saxons and Angles established their 
" Camp of Refuge " in the Isle of Ely, and under the leadership of Hereward they 
repeatedly routed their Norman oppressors, until the treachery of the ecclesiastics 
of Ely put an end to their resistance.* But the spirit of independence in the 



Fig, 110. — The Fens of Wisbeach and Peterborough. 
Scale 1 : 182,000. 




3 Miles 



people was not wholly crushed ; it rallied many of them to Cromwell's standard 
in 1645, and survives to the present day. 

The Ouse, Nen, Welland, and Witham, which traverse this lowland region, 
have frequently changed their channels even within historical times. They can 
hardly be said to take their course through valleys, but rather spread themselves 
over wide flats, and before they had been confined within artificial banks they 
stagnated into vast marshes. The actual channels of these rivers are altogether the 
work of human industry. Numerous " leams," or '* eaus," a French term evidently 
introduced by the Normans,! discharge themselves direct into the sea, but their 
mouths are closed by sluices, and these are kept shut as long as the tide rises. 
Thanks to the innumerable drains now intersecting the plain in all directions, 

* Augustin Thierrj^ *' Histoire de la conquete de I'Angleterre par les Normandes." 
t Elstobb, " Historical Account of the Great Level of the Fens. ' 



224 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

most of the windmills which were formerly employed, after the practice common 
in Holland, to raise the water into artificial channels, can now be dispensed with, 
and even steam-engines need not be kept at work to the same extent as formerly. 
It happens unfortunately that the interests of navigation and agriculture are 
irreconcilable; for whilst mariners demand that the water be retained in the 
channels by means of locks, so as to render them navigable, the agricul- 
turists desire to see the water carried off to the sea as rapidly as possible. They 
point to the lock which obstructs the discharge of the Witham as to the principal 
cause of the dampness of the soil around Boston. The removal of this lock, they 
say, would enable them to dispense with fifty steam-engines and two hundred and 
fifty windmills which are now incessantly engaged in the drainage of the Fens 
near that town. The river Witham is subject to a " bore " of considerable force, 
though less powerful than that of the Severn. On the eastern coast of England 
this phenomenon is known as " eagre." 

A range of heights of inconsiderable elevation separates the basin of the Wash 
from that of the Humber, and presents a precipitous front towards the plain of 
Central England. It is composed of liassic and oolitic rocks, which sink down on 
the east between the tertiary clays and alluvial formations which occupy the greater 
extent of the region now under consideration. In the south and west the cretaceous 
downs, known as the East Anglian Heights, form a steep escarpment of slight 
elevation. They dip beneath the Wash, and reappear to the north in the Lincoln 
Wolds. 

Of all rivers which wend their sluggish course towards the Wash, the Ouse is 
by far the most considerable, and when that bay of the sea shall have been 
converted into dry land, the Witham, Welland, and Nen will become its tributaries. 
The Ouse rises near the southern border of JS^orthamptonshire, traverses in its 
upper course the county of Buckinghamshire (see p. 162), crosses Bedfordshire and 
Cambridgeshire, and finally the western part of Norfolk, on its way to the Wash^ 
which it enters below King's Lynn. 

The six counties which lie wholly or for the most part within the basin of the 
Wash depend almost solely upon agriculture. Their* soil is of exceeding fertility, 
and scarcely anywhere else in England do crops equally heavy reward the labours 
of the husbandman. 



Topography. 

Bedfordshire consists in the main of a fertile clayey plain, traversed by the 
Ouse, and bounded on the south by the steep escarpment of the Chiltern Hills, here 
known as Dunstable and Luton Downs, and on the north by an oolitic upland, 
which separates it from Northamptonshire. Agriculture and market gardening 
are the principal occupations. Pillow lace is manufactured, though to a smaller 
extent than formerly, and straw plait for hats is made. 

Bedford., the capital of the county, is pleasantly situated on the navigable Ouse. 
It is noted for its grammar school and charitable institutions. Agricultural 



HUNTINGDONSHIEE— CAMBRIDGESHIRE. 226 

implements, lace, and straw plait are manufactured. There are a public library, a 
literary institution, and an archaeological museum. John Bunyan was born in 
the neighbouring village of Elstoiv, and the town and its vicinity abound in 
objects connected with him. 

Wohurn is a quiet market town near the western border of the county, famous 
on account of the magnificent mansion of the Duke of Bedford (Woburn Abbey), 
which stands in the centre of a park 3,500 acres in extent. Fuller's earth is 
procured in the neighbourhood. 

Leighton Buzzard, an old country town, is giving signs of renewed life since it 
has become a principal station on the London and North- Western Railway. 

Biggleswade, on the Ivel, a navigable tributary of the Ouse, has been almost 
wholly reconstructed since 1785, in which year a conflagration laid it waste. Dun- 
stable, at the northern foot of the Chiltern Hills, has interesting remains of a priory 
church founded by Henry I. The quarries in the Downs present many features 
of interest to the geologist. Some of the neighbouring heights are crowned with 
British earthworks. Luton, a straggling place with a remarkable Gothic church, lies 
beyond the Chiltern Hills, in the valley of the Thames. It is the centre of the trade 
in straw hats and bonnets, the plait for which is made in the neighbouring villages. 

Huntingdonshire stretches from the Nen in the north to beyond the Ouse in 
the south. Its surface is gently undulating in the west, but the north-eastern 
portion is for the most part embraced within the district of the Fens. 

Huntingdon, the county town, is pleasantly seated upon the Ouse. An ancient 
stone bridge, erected before 1259, connects it with its suburb of Godmanchester, 
the site of the Roman station of DuroUpons. The trade in wool and corn is 
considerable, and patent bricks are made. OHver Cromwell was born in the town, 
baptized in its ancient church, recently restored, and educated in its grammar 
school. 8t. Ices and St. Neofs are interesting market towns on the Ouse, the one 
below, the other above Huntingdon. Kimholton, with a castle belonging to the Duke 
of Manchester, lies to the west. Ramsey is the principal town in the district of the 
Fens. Stilton is a village in the same part of the county. It is usually stated 
that "Stilton cheese " was first made here ; but in point of fact it was originally 
produced in Leicestershire, and derives its name from having been first brought 
into notice at an inn of this village, which lies on the great northern road. 

Cambridgeshire lies almost wholly within the great level of the Fens, but the 
southern portion of the county has a finely diversified surface, and the chalk 
downs rise here to a height of between 300 to 500 feet. Butter and cream cheese 
are amongst the most highly appreciated productions, and the breeding of pigeons 
is carried on more extensively than in any other part of England, the produce of 
a single "pigeonry " frequently exceeding 100,000 dozens a year. The manufac- 
tures are unimportant. 

Cambridge, the county town, is seated on the river Cam, which flows north- 
ward into the Ouse. Its university is a worthy rival of that at Oxford. 
Its situation in a wide plain is not so favourable or so picturesque as that of 
Oxford; but the green meadows surrounded by trees, which run along the 



226 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



backs of the colleges, form a beautiful leafy screen bordering upon a river alive 
with gaily decorated rowing-boats. The public buildings of Cambridge are 
upon the whole inferior to those of Oxford, although there are amongst them 



Fig. 111. — Cambridge. 
From the Ordnance Map. Scale 1 : 63,36fi. 







, 1 Mile. 



several which for size, stateliness, and beauty of architecture need not fear com- 
parison. They are constructed of more durable stone, and the delicate tracery 
wrought by the sculptor's chisel survives in its pristine beauty.* King's College 
• Demogeot et Montucci, " De TEnseignemeiit superieur en Angleterre et en Ecosse." 



NORTHAMPTONSHIRE. 227 

Chapel, with its lofty roof and sumptuous yet chaste interior, overshadows all 
other buildings, and is indubitably one of the finest Gothic monuments of the fifteenth 
century. Trinity College, with its four courts, occupies a considerable area, and 
attracts more students than any similar institution in the country. Though 
not rejoicing in the possession of a library at all comparable with the Bodleian at 
Oxford, the University Library, with its 220,000 volumes and 3,000 manuscripts, 
and the libraries of the various colleges, nevertheless make a goodly show. The 
Woodwardian Geological Museum has grown, under t^e able direction of the illus- 
trious Professor Sedgwick, into one of the most remarkable collections in Europe ; 
the Observatory has also acquired fame through the discoveries of Mr. Adams ; 
and the Fitzwilliam Museum, a fine classical building, is rich in works of art, 
including paintings by Titian, Paul Veronese, and other masters of the Italian school. 
The foundation of the university dates back to the early Middle Ages, and St. Peter's 
College is known to have been founded in 1257, and is consequently more ancient 
than any college of Oxford. There are seventeen colleges and two institutions 
Girton College and Newnham Hall have recently been founded for the education 
of ladies. Cambridge even more than Oxford depends for its prosperity upon 
its 2,500 professors, fellows, and under-graduates. When these retire during 
the vacations, dulness reigns in the streets, and Cambridge resembles a city of 
the dead. Paiker's Piece, at other times the scene of cricket matches and athletic 
sports, lies deserted, and the boats on the Cam are hidden away in their boat- 
houses. Newmarket, so famous for its races, lies 11 miles to the west of Cam- 
bridge, in a detached portion of Suffolk (see p. 215). 

Following the Cam on its way to the Ouse, we reach Waterbeach, where 
coprolites are dug and ground, and immediately afterwards we enter the district 
of the Fens. In front of us rises the isolated hillock, surmounted by the magnifi- 
cent cathedral of Uli/. This city is the capital of the district known as the Isle of 
Ely, and an ancient stronghold. The cathedral displays a mixture of many 
styles, and has been carefully restored. Its great western tower rises to a height 
of 270 feet, and the centre octagon, at the intersection of the nave and the 
transepts, is justly admired for its slender shafts and ribbed vaulting of wood. 
March and Whittlesea occupy eminences in the midst of the Fens, and both boast 
interesting old churches forming conspicuous landmarks. Wisheach, on the 
navigable Nen, is the chief town in the northern part of the county. Vessels of 
500 tons can enter the harbour of the town at high water. Wheat is the principal 
article of export. WaUoken, a village within the borders of Norfolk, is now 
virtually a suburb of Wisbeach. Its Norman church is one of the most beautiful 
in the east of England. 

Northamptonshire has for the most part a beautifully varied surface. The 
breezy uplands in its south-western portion give birth to the Nen and the Ouse, 
which flow to the Wash; and to the Avon, which takes its course to the 
Severn. The Nen is the principal river of the county, whilst the Welland bounds 
it for a considerable distance in the north. Along both these is some fine 
meadow land, whilst the north-east corner of the county is occupied by rich 



228 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

fen land. The woodlands, consisting principally of the remains of ancient forests, 
are still very extensive ; but the adjoining inhabitants have the right to cut the 
underwood and to depasture them, and they do not consequently yield as much 
timber as they would under better management. The manufacture of boots and 
shoes is extensively carried on, but other branches of industry languish, owing to 
the want of cheap coal. 

Brackley and Towcester are ancient market towns in the extreme south of the 
county. Daventry occupies an eminence near the source of the river Nen. Not 
far from it are the remains of an ancient encampment. 

Northampton, the most populous town in the basin of the Wash, stretches 
along a ridge of high ground on the left bank of the Nen, which here becomes 
navigable. Several Parliaments met in this venerable town, and the number of 
mediaeval churches and other buildings is very considerable, but at the present 
day Northampton is known principally for its boots and shoes and its horse fairs. 
The environs are delightful, and gentlemen's seats abound. Althorp Park, the 
seat of Earl Spencer, with a library of 50,000 volumes, lies to the north-west. 
Descending the Nen, we pass Castle Ashby and the adjoining Yardley Chase, an 
extensive tract of woodland. On the other bank of the river rises the tower of 
the Saxon church of Castle Barton. Lower down the Nen flows past the old 
market town of Wellingborough, and is joined by the river Ise, which passes Ketter- 
ing in its course. Both these towns are places of considerable importance, with 
iron mines in their neighbourhood and iron works. Higham Ferrers, on a lofty 
cliff looking down upon the Nen, was the birthplace of Archbishop Chichele, and 
the church, college, cross, school, and bedehouse raised and endowed by him form 
the most conspicuous features of the town. Continuing our journey past the 
pleasant town of Oundle, where the Nen is spanned by a bridge, we reach Petor- 
horough, which has grown up around a Benedictine abbey founded on the borders of 
the Fen country in 655. The cathedral, with its magnificent western front 
completed about the middle of the thirteenth century, is the most remarkable 
building of the city. There are extensive railway works, and the manufacture of 
agricultural machinery is carried on. Castor, a village about 4 miles to the 
west of Peterborough, occupies the site of the Eoman station of Durohrivce, and 
much pottery and many coins have been discovered there. Still farther west are 
the remains of Fotheringay Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded in 
1587. 

There are no towns on the Northamptonshire bank of the Welland, the only 
remarkable object being Rockingham Castle, founded by William the Conqueror. 

Rutlandshire, the smallest county of England, lies to the north of the river 
Welland, above the Fen country, and has a beautifully varied surface. Oakham, 
the county town, stands in the fertile vale of Catmose. The assizes are held in 
the hall of its ancient castle, and there is a richly endowed grammar school. 
Uppingham, the second town of the county, has likewise a grammar school of 
considerable reputation. 

Lincolnshire lies only partly within the basin of the Wash, for the Trent and 



LINCOLNSHIRE. 229 

other rivers drain its northern portion into the Humber. Its surface is greatly- 
diversified, a range of oolitic uplands stretches through the western portion of the 
county as far as the Humber, and through a gap in them the river Withani finds 
its way into the Wash. The chalk downs known as " lincoln Wolds " occupy 
the eastern maritime portion of the county between the Humber and the Wash. 
These two ranges of upland are separated by a level tract of great fertility, which 
is drained by the Ancholme and the Witham, the former flowing northward into 
the Humber, the other taking its course towards the Wash. The coast is low and 
marshy, and around the Wash the marshes extend far inland and merge into the 
chief level of the Fens, the greater part of which is known as Holland. A similar 
district of fens and marshes lies beyond the river Trent, at the head of the Humber. 
This is the island of Axeholme, or Axel. Up to about 1626 this district was 
covered with marshes, its sparse inhabitants being confined to a few knolls rising 
above them. In that year a Dutchman, Vermuyden, undertook to drain the 
country, on condition of receiving one-third of the land recovered in free and 
common socage. Yermuyden performed his share of the contract in the course 
of five years, and about two hundred families, Dutch and French Protestants, 
settled in the district. But disputes between the original inhabitants of the 
country and these foreign settlers led to a protracted course of litigation, which 
continued till 1719, and ended in the Dutchmen being worsted. 

In Lincolnshire all kinds of grain are produced in the greatest abundance, 
and the county has long been celebrated for its breed of horses, cattle, and sheep. 
Some of the finest dray horses seen in London are bred in the Fens. The industry 
of the shire is not, however, wholly agricultural ; for the manufacture of agricul- 
tural implements is carried on with great success, and even a little iron is mined 
near Frodingham, a village close to the eastern bank of the Trent. 

The county is divided into three ''parts," viz. Lindsey in the north, Kesteven 
in the south-west, and Holland in the south. 

The Welland is the principal river of Holland. It rises in Northamptonshire, 
separates that county from Leicestershire and Rutland, and first touches the 
borders of Lincolnshire a little above Stamford, an ancient borough which carries 
on a considerable trade in agricultural produce, and is one of the five "burghs " 
of the Danes. The other towns on the Welland are Market Deeping, Crowland (with 
an abbey), and Spalding. The latter is the capital of Holland, and has much trade 
in wool. Holheach and Long Sutton are to the east of it, in the centre of the Fens. 
Boston, an ancient seaport, lies 14 miles above the mouth of the river Witham, 
and is accessible at spring tides for vessels of 400 tons burden. The lofty tower 
of the church of St. Botolph serves as a landmark to mariners. Many of its 
boats are engaged in the fishing, and the commerce with Holland and the north 
of England is of some importance. There was a time when it was second only to 
London, when the Hanseatic merchants had a factory here, and its annual fairs 
attracted crowds of purchasers. Tattershall, with the remains of the castle of the 
Lord Treasurer Cromwell, lies a few miles above Boston. .Horncastle, on the Bain, 
a navigable tributary of the Witham, and at the west foot of the Wolds, carries on 



230 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



much trade in corn, wool, and horses. Sleaford and Boiirne are market towns of 
local importance, on or near the western border of the Fen country. 

They both lie within the "part" of Kesteven whose principal river is the 
Witham, which rises in Eutlandshire, and flows northward past the ancient borough 

Fig. 112. — Lincoln Cathedral. 




of Grantham. It was at the grammar school of Grantham that Sir Isaac Newton, 
a native of the neighbouring village of Woolsthorpe, received his early education. 
The borough boasts a fine parish church, has works for the manufacture of agricul- 
tural machinery, and carries on a profitable trade in corn, malt, and coal, its 
neighbourhood is much frequented by fox-hunters. 



LINCOLNSHIEE. 



281 



In its onward course the Witham washes the city of Lincoln, superbly seated 
on a lofty ridge and the slopes of a hill which commands a view of the Fens. It 
is the Lindiim of the Romans, by whom the *' foss-dyke," which joins its crowded 



Fig. 113.- Lincoln. 
From the Ordnance Map. Scale 1 : 0.3.300. 




Mile. 



harbour to the Trent, was dug out, and Ermine Street, which traverses the city 
from north to south, constructed. A gateway and portions of the Roman wall 
survive, and there is a castle built by William the Conqueror, and now used as a 
gaol and assize hall, but all other buildings are overshadowed by the superb cathe- 



232 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

dral, whicli rises proudly upon the summit of the hill. In the early Middle Ages 
Lincoln was a place relatively of greater importance than it is now, and the only 
towns mentioned in the Domesday Book as having been superior to it were 
London and York ; and although in course of time it became a city of monks, 
with fifty-two churches in the reign of Edward VL, it only maiDtained its eminent 
position until the discovery of coal and iron in Western England had deranged the 
natural balance of population; but even now it carries on a very considerable 
commerce, and employs several thousand workmen in making agricultural 
machinery. 

That portion of Lincolnshire which has not yet been considered belongs to the 
basin of the Humber, or is drained directly into the German Ocean. Gainsborough 
is the principal town on the river Trent, which forms part of the western boundary 
of the county, and up which an " eagre,'' or bore, rushes with some impetuosity. Its 
harbour is accessible to vessels of from 150 to 200 tons burden, and the town has 
recently acquired some importance through the manufacture of agricultural 
machinery. Epivorth, the principal market town of the district of Axeholme, was 
the birthplace of John Wesley, whose father was rector of the parish. Descend- 
ing the Humber, we reach the mouth of the Ancholme, on whose upper course 
is situated the important market town of Brigg, or Glamford Brigg, easily acces- 
sible by means of a navigation canal. Then follow Barton-upon-Humber, an 
ancient town, formerly strongly fortified ; Netc Holland, opposite to Hull, with 
which it is connected by a steam ferry ; and Great Grimsby, at the mouth of the 
Humber. The latter has grown into a place of very considerable importance 
since 1849, in which year the clearance of the choked-up harbour began. Space 
was thus gained for the construction of the present docks and piers, and the town 
now possesses all the requisites of a modern maritime port. Lines of steamers 
connect it with several continental markets, and trade has increased wonderfully. 
Cleethorpe, its neighbour, has grown into favour as a watering-place, but Saltfleet 
and other fishing villages farther south are little frequented, because the marshy 
coast is uninviting. 

Louth is the most flourishing town at the eastern foot of the Wolds. Alford, 
with its " holy well," said to be efficacious in scorbutic complaints, lies to the 
south-east of it. 




CHAPTER IX. 




THE BASIN OF THE HUMBER. 
(Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire.) 

General Features. 

HE basin whose outlet is through the estuary of the Humber is 
the most extensive of the British Isles, for it exceeds in area the 
basins of the Thames and the Severn.* Yet England, to the 
north of the bay of the Wash and the estuary of the Mersey, is of 
small width, and the distance from the central water-parting to 
either sea is inconsiderable. But though the basin of the Humber is thus hemmed 
in between the " backbone " of England and the coast ranges, it stretches far to 
the north and south. Two rivers, the Trent, rising in the moorlands of Stafford- 
shire, and the Yorkshire Ouse — the one coming from the south, the other from the 
north — combine as they fall into the winding estuary of the Humber, and discharge 
themselves into the North Sea. 

In the south the basin of the Trent penetrates like a wedge towards the valley 
of the Severn, from which it is separated only by gentle undulations of the 
ground. In the north, however, the ground grows in elevation, at first forming 
heath-covered ridges rising above cultivated fields, and finally developing into 
the broad upland of the Pennine chain, which stretches far away to the borders 
of Scotland. The " Peak of Derbyshire " forms one of the vertebrae of this " back- 
bone" of England. It is by no means a peak, as its name would imply, but 
a table-land bounded by steep scarps, remarkable for its caverns and subterranean 
passages, and rich in cromlechs. The Peak attains a height of 1,981 feet. 
Farther north the moorlands broaden out, but the depressions which separate 
the rounded masses of upland facilitate intercommunication between the two 
slopes of the chain. t The summits increase in elevation as we travel to the 

* Area of the basin of the Humber (including Trent and Ouse), 9,550 square miles ; basin of the 
Thames, 6,160 square miles ; basin of the Severn, 4,350 square miles. 

t The "passes " over the Pennine range vary in height between 450 and 660 feet, the latter being 
that of the pass through which runs the turnpike road from Huddersfield, to the north of the Holme Moss. 

112— E 



234 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



north, and culminate in the Whernside (2,414 feet), in Yorkshire, and Cross Fell 
(2,892 feet), on the borders of Durham. A transverse range connects the Pennine 
chain with the Cumbrian Mountains, which are higher still. 

The scenery of the Pennine range is by no means inferior to that of the 
Malvern Hills. The higher summits, it is true, are covered with heather or peat, 
but their slopes are wooded or clad with succulent grasses. The finest oaks of all 
England shade the southern slopes of the hills of Derbyshire and Nottingham- 
shire. Delightful valleys penetrate the chain wherever we look, and the naked- 
ness of the rocks enhances the beauty of the smiling landscapes which lie at their 
base. Derbyshire and the valley of the Yorkshire Ouse may fairly dispute with 
the Weald of Kent and the vale of Severn the claim of being considered the finest 
parts of England. Running water abounds in these hills, for the rains are 
abundant. Through every valley a winding rivulet, sparkling amidst the verdure, 
hastens along to pay its tribute to the " tranquil Ure, the flying Wharfe, or the 



Fig. 114. — The "Peak" of Dehbyshire. 
Scale 1 : 110,000. 




IMae. 



superb Ouse." * Caverns, some of them in the possession of miners in search of 
argentiferous lead, abound in this limestone region, and the water, charged with 
carbonate of lime, which trickles from their roofs, has formed innumerable stalac- 
tites, whose beauty delights the visitor. Some of these caverns have been explored 
by men of science, and the objects discovered in them have enriched the museums 
of the country. An old mine yielded the remains of a human being and of 3,750 
animals, belonging to five difierent species, and amongst articles of human work- 
manship there was a precious design of a horse's head graven upon the bone of an 
animal, t 

The uplands, which separate the basins of the Trent and Ouse from the North 
Sea, are pretty regular in their direction. The whole of this littoral region is 
formed of oolitic and cretaceous rocks, which strike north and south in narrow 
bands. Separated by the great fissure through which the Ouse and Trent find 

* Spenser, «• Faerie Queen." 

t W. Boyd Dawkins, Journal of the Geological Society, Feb., 1877. 



THE BASIN OF THE HUMBER. 



235 



their way into the sea, the hills rise once more to the north of the estuary of the 
Humber, and, trending round to the eastward, terminate in the bold promontory 
of Flamborough Head. To the north lie the wild and barren York Wolds, 
whose northern face is known as the Cleveland Hills, They are composed of 
liassic strata capped by oolitic rocks, and abound in picturesque scenery, and from 
their culminating summits afford at once a view of the distant vale of the Tees and 
of the sea studded with vessels. Here and there the more prominent heights are 
crowned with funereal mounds, locally known as hones* and every position of 
strategical importance is defended by vast entrenchments. These entrenchments 



Fig. 115. — The Mouth of the Humber and Part of Holderness. 
Scale 1 : 450,000. 




^^^KS^mMiid 



20' N ofGr 



Gr. 



5 Miles. 



can still be traced for miles, and they converted the valley of the Derwent, at the 
back of Scarborough, as well as the whole of the peninsula which is bounded by 
the Humber in the south, into vast camps. The entrenchment near Scarborough 
is still known as the Dane^s Dyke. Some of the barrows, or hones, on the Cleveland 
Hills are as much as 200 feet in length, of quadrangular shape, and placed due east 
and west. Skulls and flint and bronze implements have been found in them, 
and prove that they do not all belong to the same epoch. Rolleston, the 
archseologist, is of opinion that some of the skulls resemble those of the Yeddahs 
of Ceylon. 

* Hog, in Old Swedish or Jutic ; hoi in Danish. 



236 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



The coast district, whicli juts out like an eagle's beak between Flamborough 
Head and the estuary of the Humber, and terminates in Spurn Head, is known as 
Holderness. The whole of this country is of recent formation, and differs alto- 
gether from the rocky hills away in the interior. To geologists it is classic ground, 
owing to the grand scale on which it illustrates erosive phenomena. The boulder 
clay and alluvial till form a sea-cliff, here rising to a height of some 60 feet, 
and extending more than 80 miles along the coast. Landslips and "shoots" of 
detached masses of rocks are frequent along this coast ; the waves undermine the 
foot of the cliffs, and spread their triturated waste over the beach. Not a storm, 
not an exceptionally high tide, but the coast is worn away, and houses, villages, 
and even towns disappear. Ravenspur, at one time a rival to Hull, and a 
port so considerable in 1332 that Edward Baliol and the confederated English 
barons sailed from it with a great fleet to invade Scotland, has long since been 
devoured by the merciless ocean. The villages of Hyde, Auburn, Kilnsea, Upsal, 
and many others have shared the same fate ; and with them have disappeared 
the lakes which formerly studded the plateau, and one of which, Sandley Mere, 
filled a cavity in the alluvial soil abounding in the tusks of elephants. Extensive 
sands, dry at low water, occupy the places of these towns, but a fine rock, known 
as the Matron, still marks the site where the cliffs rose within historic times.* 

A phenomenon of an inverse nature may be observed along the banks of the 
Humber, where the waste of the cliffs of Holderness and the alluvial soil brought 
down by the rivers cause the land and the banks in the estuary to grow. Sunk 
Island, which about the middle of the seventeenth century had an area of only 
10 acres, and was separated by a navigable channel, 1,600 yards wide, from the 
shore, is now firmly attached to the mainland. It forms the apex of a peninsula, 
12 square miles in extent, jutting out opposite Great Grimsby, and its rich 
meadows are protected by dykes against the encroachments of the sea. Similarly 
wide tracts formerly covered by the sea have become dry land along both banks of 
the river above Hull, but there nature has been guided in her work by the genius 
of man. The plain in which the Ouse and Trent mingle their waters was formerly 
a lake, which extended in rear of the littoral ranges until it was drained by the 
rivers named finding an outlet into the Humber. Above the swamps which then 
took the place of the lake there rose the isles of Axholme, Wroot, Crowle, and 
others, and most of the inhabitants of the country established themselves upon 
these more solid spots to escape the pestilential vapours rising from a half-drowned 
country. Since the Middle Ages these swamps have been drained, and here, as in 
the fenny land around the Wash, it was the Dutch who initiated the inhabitants 
into the art of the hydraulic engineer. One of the principal drains is still known 
as "Dutch River," and recalls the services rendered by these foreigners. The 
whole of the country is intersected now by canals and drains, and it is difficult to trace 
the old channels of the Don and Idle, which formerly flowed slowly through a 
plain having no regular slope. One of the first objects of the engineers was to provide 
a natural outfall for the rivers, and the alluvial soil brought down in large quan- 
* Philipps, " Rivers, Mountains, and Sea-coast of Yorkshire ; " Pennant, "Arctic Zoology." 



THE BASIN OF THE HUMBEE. 



287 



titles by the Trent enabled them to attain this object, by spreading the soil over 
the more inland parts of the plain, whilst deepening the drains which intersect the 



Fig. 116, — Warped Plain of the Ouse and the Trent. 
Scale 1 '. .%0,000 




40' W.of G. 



5 Miles. 



seaward regions. This system of " warping " proved as successful here as it had 
done in Italy. The lowlands along the coast are still known as " marshes," but 
their soil is as firm as that of the neighbouring inland districts. Pure water was 



238 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

the only thing needed to render this region a fit place of residence for human 
beings, and that need has been abundantly supplied by artesian wells. A layer 
of clay about 25 feet in thickness underlies the surface soil for 50 miles along 
the coast and 10 miles inland, so that all that is requisite to be done in order to 
obtain pure water is to bore through this clay, when a fountain will burst forth, 
sometimes rising to a height of 10 feet. 

The physiognomy of the towns and villages of a considerable portion of the 
basin of the Huraber has undergone a singular change in the course of the nine- 
teenth century, and perhaps nowhere is this change more striking than in Western 
Yorkshire. Quiet villages, unfettered rivulets, are found no longer. The valleys 
are filled with noisy factories ; every stream of water is confined within bounds to 
set in motion wheels and turbines ; the roads are black ; and even the atmosphere is 
filled with particles of soot. The number of inhabitants is tenfold — nay, hundred- 
fold in certain districts — what it used to be. Manufacturing towns have sprung 
from the soil where at the beginning of the century the eye beheld only open 
moors or forests. These changes are due to the same causes which have brought 
about similar results in other parts of England. The counties at the foot of the 
Pennine chain have learnt to appreciate the wealth which they possess in their 
rocks — coal, iron, lime, and building stone — and the inhabitants of Yorkshire, at all 
events, have set themselves to utilise these treasures with an eagerness far surpassing 
that of other Englishmen. The people of Yorkshire are, indeed, noted for their 
industry, activity, and business intelligence, and few are their equals in the art of 
making money. Conservative though they be — as is proved by an adherence to 
their ancient dialect — they have nevertheless, in the course of becoming a manu- 
facturing people, greatly changed their time-honoured customs. And this perilous 
social evolution, whilst it enriched thousands, has condemned hundreds of thousands 
to the precarious existence of proletarians. How great the contrast between the 
factory hands of the West Riding and their ancestors, whose hero was merry 
Robin Hood ! 

Topography. 

Staffordshire lies wholly within the great central plain of England, and its 
surface, except in the north, where it is broken by barren hills, including the Axe 
Edge Hill (1,810 feet), Mow Copt (1,101 feet). Weaver Hill (1,154 feet), and other 
outliers of the Pennine chain, is slightly undulating, and upon the whole fertile. 
The river Trent rises near the northern boundary of the county, and passes through 
its centre, receiving on its way several tributaries, the principal of which are the 
Dove, which forms the eastern boundary of the county, and the Tame, which drains 
the south. 

The valley of the Trent is noted for its fertility, but Staff'ordshire is essentially 
a manufacturing and mining county. The distribution of the bulk of its popula- 
tion has been determined by the existence of coal and iron, and there are conse- 



STAFFORDSHIRE. 



239 



quently two great centres of industry — the one in the north, in the coal basin of 
North Staffordshire, the other in the south, around Dudley and Wolverhampton. 

The former of these districts is drained by the nascent Trent, and is known as 
that of the Potteries, for the manufacture of earthenware has been carried on there 
from immemorial times, and it furnishes most of the china which England exports 
to foreign countries, much to the increase of its national wealth. Stoke- upon- Trent ^ 



Fig. 117. — The District of the Potteries. 
Scale 1 : 80,000. 




iMile. 



the metropolis of this district, a dingy and straggling town, has raised monuments 
to Wedgwood and Minton, the two men who by their genius have most contributed 
towards its prosperity. It was at Etruria, a couple of miles to the north of Stoke, that 
Josiah Wedgwood established his factory in 1771, in the hope of being able to equal 
one day the productions of the master potters of Tuscany. It was he who taught 
England the art of producing a beautiful cream-coloured porcelain, such as had 
been manufactured for a short time in the sixteenth century at the French village 



240 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

of Oiron, but the- secret of which had been lost. Wedgwood and Minton bestowed 
equal attention upon form and decoration, and the ware produced by them, with 
the aid of artists of high repute, far surpasses in taste the articles ordinarily 
made by English manufacturers. We almost marvel that these smoky towns 
should have turned out such beautiful majolicas, and porcelain so tastefully 
decorated. Recently a school of art adapted to ceramic manufacture, and known as 
the Wedgwood Institute, has been opened at Burslem, the birthplace of Wedgwood. 
This building is decorated with terra-cotta, which bears witness to the high state of 
perfection attained by the local manufacture. The population concentrated around 
Stoke-upon-Trent already approaches 300,000 souls, and it increases rapidly, for 
the coal basin of North Staffordshire, despite its small extent, possesses inestimable 
advantages in its alternation of coal seams and beds of iron ore. The remaining 
towns of the Pottery District are Hanky, half-way between Stoke and Burslem, 
which is as much dependent upon iron, works as upon potteries ; Tunstall, Small- 
thorne, and Kidsgrove, the latter a mining town, close to the northern boundary of 
the county. Fentonaiid Longton (with Dresden), which have potteries and earthen 
wofks, lie to the south-east, whilst Newcastle-under-Lyme, which carries on a great 
trade in hats and "shoes, and near which are the Silverdale Iron Works, lies to the 
west. 

Leaving the district of the Potteries behind us, we enter the agricultural 
portion of the county, and soon find ourselves in the midst of fields and woods, 
and able to breathe a pure atmosphere. The towns are few and far between. 
Stoke, on the banks of the Trent, is dependent upon its breweries and the manu- 
facture of boots and shoes. Staffor'd, the county town, on the Sow, a tributary of 
the Trent, has several ancient timbered houses, two interesting churches, and a shire- 
hall. The castle, on a hill, commands a view of the Welsh hills. Izaak Walton, 
the celebrated English angler, was born here. Rugeley, on the Trent, is noted for 
its horse fairs. It adjoins Cannock Chase, an upland tract, in which a little coal, 
remarkably fine in quality, is found. Lichfield lies away from the river on a 
navigable canal. Tamworth, on the Tame, which flows past Birmingham and pays 
tribute to the Trent, is the centre of a rich grazing district. Several of the towns 
named are seats of industry, but in their general aspects and mediaeval buildings they 
contrast strikingly with the great manufacturing district which lies farther west. 
Lichfield, an episcopal see, boasts a cathedral which, though small, is exquisitely 
beautiful. It was built 1128 — 53. St. John's Hospital is a curious specimen of 
the domestic architecture of the fifteenth century, whilst the grammar school has 
acquired fame through Addison, Garrick, Bishop Newton, Dr. Johnson, and other 
celebrated pupils who attended it. Dr. Johnson was born at Lichfield, and a 
statue has been raised in his memory. 

Below the confluence of the Trent and Tame there rises the important town of 
Burton-upon-Trenty famous throughout the world for its bitter ale, said to owe its 
peculiar qualities to the carbonate of lime contained in the water used by its 
brewers. There are six large and about twenty-four small firms at Burton, 
annually producing between them about a million and a half barrels of beer. 



STAFFORDSHIRE. 241 

The Dove joins the Trent a few miles below Burton. In its upper course it 
flows through a narrow dale, where umbrageous woods, naked rocks, caverns, 
and a sparkling rivulet combine to form some of the most picturesque scenery in 
England. The Churnet is tributary to the Dove, and hardly yields to it in 
romantic beauty. On its banks rises Alton Towers, the princely mansion of the 
Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot. Higher up in the valley limestone is quarried 
and iron ore won. Leek is a considerable town near ^he source of the Churnet, 
where silk-thread spinning is extensively carried on. Cheadle, in the moorlands 
to the west of the Churnet, is a small market town. Uttoxeter is the principal 
town on the Lower Dove. The inhabitants engage in the manufacture of clock 
cases and agricultural machinery, and in cork-cutting. 

There now remains to be noticed the great manufacturing and mining district 
in South Staffordshire known as the ''Black Country." Though hardly 150 

Fig. 118.— JjicHFiELn Cathedral. 



square miles in extent, this district (including the adjoining town of Birmingham, 
which is virtually its capital) supports more than a million inhabitants. It owes 
its prosperity to its mineral treasures. Coal, iron, the limestone required for fusing 
it, and even the clay from which the bricks for lining the furnaces are made, are 
found here in juxtaposition. Many discoveries of great importance have been 
made in the manufactories of this district, and especially in the Soho Works, near 
West Bromwich. The coal found here is admirably adapted for the manufacture 
of tar and aniline, and is largely used for these purposes. The principal coal seam 
of the basin has a thickness of 10 yards, and has proved a source of great wealth. 
Unfortunately it is nearly exhausted. There remain now only 100,000,000 
tons of coal, which at the present rate of consumption will hardly suffice for 
another century, at the close of which the manufacturers will have to migrate to a 
more favoured locality. 



242 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

The best view of the Black Country is from Dudley Castle, which occupies 
an eminence in its centre. Dudley, however, lies within a detached portion of 
Worcestershire (see p. 105), and the most important Staffordshire town in the 
district under notice is Wolverharnj^ton, an old town in a commanding position, 
the centre of the lock trade, and producing also all kinds of hardware, and 
japanned and papier-mache articles. The town is known also in the annals of 
aeronautics and meteorology, for it was here that Glaisher and Coxwell made their 
experimental trip into the air, which took them to a height of probably 36,000 
feet — an altitude never yet exceeded. Walsall is distinguished for its saddlery. 
West Bromwich, which is nearer to Birmingham, manufactures hardware of every 
description, besides glass and gas. These are the principal towns of the district. 
Their satellites engage in the same industries, all alike depending upon the coal 
and iron mines which are being worked in their vicinity. Heathtotvn, Wednes- 
iieldy Sedgley, and Tq)ton lie in the west, around Wolverhampton and towards 
Dudley ; WUlenhall, Darlaston, Bilsfon, and Wednesbury — the latter a place of great 
antiquity — occupy, with Walsall, the centre of the district ; Brierley Hill, Rowley 
Regis, and Quarry Bank are near the Worcestershire border ; whilst Smethwick and 
Harhorne may almost be designated suburbs of Birmingham (see Fig. 60). 

Derbyshire is one of the most beautiful counties of England. Its northern 
part, culminating in the Peak, is full of moors and mountains, intersected by 
narrow valleys, and dells bounded by fantastic cliffs. Towards the south the hills 
decrease in height, until they sink into the wide and fertile vale of the Trent, 
which crosses the southern portion of the county. The great river of Derbyshire, 
however, is the Derwent {Der Gwent, i.e. Beautiful River), which rises in the 
Peak, and, flowing through the centre of the county, separates the coal and iron 
district to its east from the more purely agricultural district to its west. In 
addition to coal and iron, Derbyshire yields lead, and is famous for its spar, and its 
quarries of marble, gypsum, &c. The manufactures are varied and of considerable 
importance. 

Derby, the ancient county town, has attained considerable importance as a seat 
of industry. It was here J. Lombe established the" first silk-mill in England, in 
1717 ; but if contemporary evidence can be accepted, the Englishman who learnt 
the secret of the manufacture in Italy died of poison administered by his Italian 
instructors.* This old factory still exists, and many others have been added since. 
In addition to hosiery, Derby, and its suburb of Litchiirch, engage in the manu- 
facture of porcelain and of spar ornaments. It is here the Midland Railway Com- 
pany has established its head- quarters, its workshops occupying a considerable area. 
A monument has been erected to H. Cavendish, the discoverer of the chemical 
constituents of air, in the church of All Saints. Flamsteed, the astronomer, was 
born in the neighbouring village of Denby. 

Ascending the Derwent, we reach Belper, whose inhabitants find employment 
in cotton and hosiery mills and in nail-making. Still proceeding on our journey 
up a valley which increases in beauty with every step we take, we reach Matlock 
* Ch. Dupin, " Force commerciale de la Grande Bretagne." 



DERBYSHIRE. 



243 



and its baths, the centre of the most romantic limestone district in which the 
Derwent clears its way through a succession of grand defiles, one of which is com- 
manded by the superb High Tor, rising to a height of 396 feet. The mineral 



Fig. 119.— Dbrby. 
Prom the Ordnance Survey. Scale 1 




IMile. 



waters of Matlock are largely charged with carbonate of lime, and they quickly 
petrify any object placed in them. 

A few miles above Matlock we reach the confluence of the "Wye and the Derwent. 
On the former, beautifully seated upon a wooded slope, rises the ancient town of 
Bakeimll, near which is Haddon Hall, perhaps the finest specimen of a baronial 
dwelling of the fifteenth century to be met with in England. At the head of the 



244 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

Wye, in a bleak but bealtby situation 1,100 feet above the level of tlie sea, stands 
Buxton, which has been a place of resort for three hundred years on account of the 
virtues of its mineral waters, but owes something, too, to the vicinity of the great 
city of Manchester Meadows, parks, and avenues of trees environ the sumptuous 
dwellings set apart for invalids, whilst, far below, the . Wye courses through a 
savage defile, the entrance to which is guarded by the Chee Tor, a noble rock 300 
feet in height. 

Returning to the Derwent, we soon reach Chatsworth, the noble seat of the 
Duke of Devonshire, in the midst of a park 11 miles in circuit. The house con- 
tains a precious collection of paintings, statues by Thorwaldsen, Canova, Schadow, 
and Gibson, and a valuable library. The great conservatory in the gardens 
was built by Sir Joseph Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace, and one of the 
fountains plays to a height of 267 feet. Higher up on the Derwent, in a charming 
situation, stands Hathersage, where needles and fishing-tackle are made, and 
beyond we reach Castleton, in the very heart of the Peak. Its neighbourhood 
abounds in caverns, that of the Peak being traversed by an underground river. 
A little lead is won in the vicinity. 

That portion of Derbyshire which lies beyond the Peak, towards the north- 
west, is drained into the Mersey. Glossop, Hayfield, and other places in this 
neighbourhood carry on cotton-spinning, and depend naturally upon Manchester. 

There are but few towns in Western Derbyshire. Wirksworth and Winster are 
the principal places of a lead-mining district of small importance, to the west of 
Matlock. Ashbourne, in the fertile valley of the Dove, and the centre of a grazing 
district, carries on an important trade in cheese, wool, and corn. 

Far more populous is the great industrial and mining district of Eastern Derby- 
shire, between the Derwent and the Erwash, the northern portion of which is 
tributary to the river Don. Chesterfield, a busj^ town remarkable for its "crooked" 
or leaning spire, has coal mines and iron works, and manufactures lace, hosiery, 
and woollen stuffs. George Stephenson, the engineer, died here in 1848, and Hes 
buried in Trinity Church. Farther south are the towns of Claycross, Alfreton, 
Ripley, Heanor, and Ilkeston, all of them with coal? mines, most of them with iron 
works, and some of them with hosiery- mills. Ilkeston rejoices, in addition, in the 
possession of mineral springs. 

Leicestershire is almost wholly comprised within the basin of the Soar, which 
flows northward through its centre, and joins the Trent on the northern border of 
the shire. Its surface is for the most part undulating, and Bardon Hill, in Charn- 
wood Forest, to the west of the Soar, although the culminating summit of the 
county, does not exceed a height of 853 feet. To the east of the Soar the country 
rises gently towards the oolitic uplands of Rutland and N'orthamptonshire, whilst 
in the south-west the plain of Leicester extends across the borders of the county 
into Warwickshire. A small coal basin lies towards the north-west. Leicestershire 
is famous for its horses, cattle, and sheep, and is the great centre of the hosiery 
manufacture. 

Leicester, the county town, occupies the site of the Roman city of Ratae, and 



NOTTINGHAMSHIRE. 245 

here still exist portions of Roman walls and other ancient remains, carefully pre- 
served in the local museum. The central position of the town on the navigable 
Soar has enabled it to play an important part in the history of England. It was 
here that Richard III. and Cardinal Wolsey died. But it is more especially from 
the beginning of this century that Leicester has grown into a large town, its 
population since 1850 having more than doubled. This increase is due almost 
solely to the development of the hosiery trade, of which Leicester is the head- 
quarters, and which employs many thousand hands throughout the county. The 
famous Leicester sheep, which produce long combing wool, pasture in the valley 
of the Upper Soar, towards the old towns of Hinckley and Market Bosworth, near 
which the Earl of Richmond defeated Richard III. (1485), and on the downs 
stretching along the southern confines of the shire. The only places in this remote 
part of the county are Lutterworth, on a feeder of the Avon, of which John Wick- 
liffe was rector (1375 — 84), and Market Harhorough, on the Welland, a favourite 
resort of hunting-men during the winter. Indeed, the openness of a great part of 
the county is favourable to sportsmen, and Melton Mowbray, on the Wreke, 
which joins the Soar from the east, is the great head-quarters of fox-hunting, and 
its stables afford accommodation to five or six hundred horses. The town, more- 
over, is noted for its pork pies, and exports the famous Stilton cheese made in 
its environs. Quorndon, on the Soar, within a short distance of the granite quarries 
of Mount Sorrel and the lime-kilns of Barrow, is the head-quarters of the Quorn 
Hunt. Loughborough, on the Lower Soar, and the much smaller town of Castle- 
Donington, farther north, engage in the manufacture of woollen hosiery, and the 
former has in addition a bell foundry and locomotive factory. 

Ashby -de-la- Zouch retains its ancient name, half Danish, half Norman. It is 
the centre of a coal basin. Whitwick, to the east of it, on the fringe of Charn- 
wood Chase, is remarkable for the modern Roman Catholic abbey of Mount 
St. Bernard, the first establishment of the kind completed in England since the 
Reformation. 

Nottinghamshire in the main consists of the broad and fertile plain of the 
Trent, which opens out upon the alluvial lowland at the head of the Humber, and 
of a broken hill country which occupies the western portion of the shire. The soil 
in the latter is sandy and gravelly, and the whole region from the Trent to "Work- 
sop, in the basin of its tributary the Idle, was formerly comprehended within 
Sherwood Forest, the principal scene of the adventures of Robin Hood and his 
companions. Coal occurs along the western boundary, and the manufacture of 
bobbinet, or lace, and of hosiery, employs thousands of hands. 

Nottingham occupies a steep declivity overlooking the Trent. It is a place of 
great antiquity, with a castle built by William the Conqueror, now converted into 
an art museum. The Standard Hill, upon which Charles I. unfurled the royal 
standard in 1642, adjoins this ancient stronghold. Like Leicester, the county 
town of Nottinghamshire has grown into a great seat of industry, famous for its 
hosiery, bobbinet, and machinery. The same branches of industry are carried on at 
the neighbouring towns of Sneinton, Lenton, Basford, Hucknal Torkard, and Arnold. 



246 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

Newark'Upon- Trent is a town of breweries, like Burton, and the capital of the 
agricultural portion of the county, where great corn and cattle markets are held. 
King John died within the castle whose ruins crown a neighbouring hill. Bing- 
ham is a market town in the fruitful vale of Bel voir, which stretches across the 
southern boundary of the county into Leicestershire, and is named after Belvoir 
Castle, the stately residence of the Duke of Rutland. 

Mansfield and Sutton-in-Ashfield are the principal towns in Sherwood Forest. 
Collieries and quarries are near them, and hosiery is manufactured. Newstead 
Abbey, farther south, in the midst of the " Forest," is doubly interesting on account 
of its ivy-clad facade of the twelfth century, and its association with Lord Byron. 
Worksop, in the basin of the Idle, is a quiet country place, doing a large trade in 
malt. Near it are a colliery and several noble parks. Retford, the centre of a 
rural parliamentary borough on the Idle, carries on a considerable trade in corn 
and malt. 

Yorkshire is by far the largest and most important county of England. It 
extends along the Grerman Ocean from the bay of the Tees to the mouth of the 
Humber, and stretches inland to the summit of the Pennine chain and beyond. 
Politically the county is divided into the city of York and its Ainsty, and the 
three districts called the North, West, and East Ridings. Geographically, how- 
ever, it consists of several well-defined regions, and of these the fruitful vale of 
York is by far the most extensive and important. This vale, or plain, extends from 
the southern confines of the county, beyond the river Tees, into Durham. It is 
drained by the river Ouse and its tributaries. On the east the fertile vale of 
Pickering opens out into it like a huge bay, extending to the sea near Scarborough, 
and separating the wild oolitic moors of North Yorkshire from the chalky wolds of 
the East Riding. These latter form a screen around the fertile alluvial tract of 
Holderness, at the mouth of the Humber. 

Western Yorkshire consists of wild moorlands, which attain their highest eleva- 
tion in the Craven district in the north, and are intersected by valleys renowned 
for their picturesque scenery. As we proceed south the hills decline in height, and 
gradually merge into monotonous moorlands. But \yhat South-western Yorkshire 
lacks in scenery is amply compensated for by the mineral treasures, coal and iron, 
which are hidden in its soil, and which have given birth to one of the busiest manufac- 
turing districts of the world. Yorkshire holds the first place for its woollens, but the 
manufacture of iron and of every description of ironware also furnishes occupation 
to thousands, and some of the cotton-mills rival those of Lancashire in their huge 
proportions. The county holds, moreover, a prominent position for its agriculture. 
Its horses, cattle, and sheep are in high estimation, and the hams of Yorkshire are 
famous throughout England. 

Right in the centre of the great fertile plain which forms so striking a physical 
feature of the county, admirably situated as a place of commerce on the great 
natural high-road which connects England with Scotland, and on the navigable 
Ouse, rises the ancient city of York. As long as the subterranean treasures 



YORKSHIRE. 



247 



in the western moorlands remained untouched, York was able to maintain its 
commercial supremacy. It is only natural that the great north road, instead 
of following the sinuosities of the coast-line, should take a more direct course at 
some distance inland. Leaving the Fens around the Wash to the east, the road 
descends the valley of the Trent, and then skirts the marshes, in the midst of which 
the water of the Trent mingles with that of the Ouse. Having followed the latter 
as far as the point where it turns abruptly to the south, it becomes necessary to 
cross to the other bank, in order to avoid a long det6ur to the west. It was at 
this natural crossing-place that the Brigantes had founded their capital of EburaCy 
or Ehorac, which subsequently expanded into Eboracum, the most important 



Fig 120.- York. 
Scale 1 : 286,000. 



*w;?;3 




W.ofG 1*5 



45' 



Roman colony in Britain. It was here Septimius Severus died in 211. The 
political authorities of the Empire were in course of time superseded by the powers 
of the Church. Early in the seventh century York became the seat of a bishop, 
and subsequently of an archbishop, who disputed with his rival of Canterbury the 
primacy of all England. York and London are the only cities in England whose 
chief magistrate bears the title of Lord Mayor. 

A few Roman foundations may still be traced at York, but all Roman buildings 
have disappeared, and the many curious edifices of the city belong to the Middle 
Ages. A tower, built by William the Conqueror upon Roman foundations, rises 
within the castle precincts, by the side of the modern County Court and gaol. 
Ancient walls, nearly 3 miles in circuit, still surround the city, and afford 



248 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



pleasant walks. The minster, which rises on the highest ground within them, is 
not the structure of a single age, but nevertheless exhibits a remarkable unity of 
design; Its west front fully deserves its reputation, but the two towers which 

Fig. 121.— York Minster. 




flank it, as is the case with most of the old English cathedrals, are not sufficiently 
lofty in proportion to the size of the nave. York, as compared with the more 
modern towns in the manufacturing district, rejoices in the possession of greater 
wealth bequeathed by the past. Its museums are more interesting, its scientific 



YOEKSHIEE. 249 

and literary life more active, and its individual character more strongly marked. 
York, indeed, by its general physiognomy, is the most English town of all England. 
Flaxman, the sculptor, was born here. The battle of Stamford Bridge (1066), 
between Harold of England and Harald Hardrada of Norway, was fought to the 
east of York, on the Derwent; that of Marston Moor (1644) about 7 miles to the 
west. 

Tadcaster, the Roman Calcaria, lies 8 miles to the south-west of York, and near 
it is the field of the battle of Towton, fought in 1461 between King Edward, of 
York, and the Lancastrians, in which the latter were defeated, with a loss of 40,000 
men. The fight was thickest in the field still called the *' Bloody Meadow." In a 
sweet-brier hedge by its side the white rose now mingles with the red rose, and 
after having hurried thousands into a bloody death, these flowers have become 
symbols of peace. 

Vessels of more than 100 tons burden ascend the Ouse as far as York. Those 
of greater size only proceed to Selbij, a place of commerce, with a magnificent 
abbey church, or to Goole, the great rival of Kingston-upon-HuU. Goole, close to 
the confluence of the *' Dutch River" with the Ouse, is a shipping port of con- 
siderable importance. It imports fruit and vegetables from Belgium and the 
Netherlands, and exports iron, cloth, and building stones. 

Ascending the river Don, which traverses the southern portion of the plain of 
York, we pass Thome, a market town of the Isle of Axholme, and reach Boncaster, 
the Daniim of the Romans, and anciently the capital of the county. It is a quiet 
town, contrasting with the busy hives of industry to the west of it. Only once in the 
year, during the race week in September, is it stirred into life, but it then attracts 
pleasure-seekers and sporting-men from the whole of England. The modern Gothic 
church of Doncaster is one of the finest works of Sir Gilbert Scott. The Great 
Northern Railway works, for the manufacture of carriages and locomotives, are 
close to the town. 

Pickering lies in the centre of the vale named after it, which is drained 
by the Upper Derwent. Malton, lower down on that river, is a place of some 
importance. Near it, on a height overlooking the river, rises Castle Howard, 
the magnificent seat of the Earl of Carlisle, containing a noble collection of 
works of art. 

The York Moors occupy the north-western portion of the county, rising boldly 
above the vales of York and Cleveland, and presenting picturesque clifis towards 
the German Ocean. The greater part of this wild country is given up to sheep 
grazing, and the narrow valleys which intersect it are but sparsely peopled. 
Within the last fifty years, however, the discovery of ironstone has attracted a 
large mining population. 

Midclleshorough, the largest town in the district, at the mouth of the Tees, owes 
its rapid growth, if not its existence, to the discovery of this iron. In 1829 
there stood but a solitary house upon the site of Middlesborough, whilst now 
the atmosphere is blackened with the smoke ascending from blast furnaces and 
iron works, and there is hardly to be seen a blade of grass or a tree to relieve the 

113— E 



260 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



dreariness. The great iron works of this prosperous town were originally con- 
structed for the treatment of Spanish and Algerian ores, but they now draw most 
of their supplies from the Cleveland Hills, which form the northern escarpment 
of the Moors, and yield nearly one-third of all the iron ore found in Great 
Britain. In addition to iron and steel, Middlesborough manufactures machinery 
and earthenware, and carries on a most extensive commerce. Its growth has, 
indeed, been unparalleled in Europe, and only Barrow-in-Furness can compare 
with it. 

Guisborough, the centre of the mining district, is a town of great age, with 
the ruins of an Augustinian priory. Other places in the vicinity are Skelton-in- 
Cleveland, Orrheshy, and Novmanhy. 

Northallerton and Thirsk are quiet agricultural towns at the foot of the 



Fig. 122. — MiDDLESBORO.UGH AND StOCKTON-ON-TeES. 
1 : 97,600. 




Mile. 



Hambleton Hills, which form the western escarpment of the Moors, and on the 
margin of the vale of York. Near Northallerton was fought the Battle of the 
Standard (1138). Helmsley lies at the southern foot of the Moors, on the fringe of 
the vale of Pickering. The ruins of Rivaulx Abbey, the first Cistercian house 
established in Yorkshire (1132), are near it. 

Far more widely known than either of these agricultural towns of Yorkshire 
are the watering-places which dot the coast from the mouth of the Tees to Flam; 
borough Head. The most renowned amongst them are Whitby and Scarborough. 
Whitby, at the mouth of the river Esk, which rises in the Cleveland Hills, is at the 
same time a shipping port and a watering-place, and occupies a most picturesque 



YORKSHIRE. 



251 



site. There are alum works in the vicinity, and the herring fishery gives employ- 
ment to many of the inhabitants, but the town is more widely known for its jet 
ornaments. This industry has been carried on here from immemorial times, as 
is proved by the discoveries made in the hones which crown the neighbouring 
hills, and the pilgrims who during the Middle Ages paid their devotions in the 
abbey of Whitby never failed to carry away with them a cross or a rosary made 
of jet. 

Scarborough, the " Queec of the northern watering-places," possesses resources 
and amusements far exceeding those of its neighbour Whitby. It is built 
at the foot and on the top of two cliffs, separated by a chasm spanned by a 
lofty bridge, which joins the old town to the Spa, Museum, and other buildings 



Fig. 123. — Scarborough. 
Scale 1 : 310,000. 




ec w.ofG. 



Ancient Entrenchments. 



Tumuli. 



5 Miles. 



specially constructed for the accommodation of the 20,000 visitors who annually 
flock to it. The Marine Aquarium is larger than that of Brighton. From the 
keep of the Norman castle which commands the old town we look down with 
admiration upon the sands which stretch along the foot of the limestone cliffs. 
Scarborough has been a place of commerce for centuries, and its port, protected by 
two piers, affords shelter to the largest vessels. The coasting trade carried on is 
considerable, and the herring fishery is a source of profit. Still the importance 
of the town is derived almost exclusively from the crowds of visitors annually 
attracted by its picturesque scenery, bracing air, smooth sands, chalybeate springs, 
and varied resources for amusement. 

Filey, to the south-east of Scarborough, on the spacious bay to which it gives 



252 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

name, is protected by a spit of sand, and offers great advantages as a naval station. 
Amongst other watering-places along this coast Redmr and Saltburn-bt/-the-Spa 
deserve to be mentioned. 

The crescent- shaped range of the cretaceous York Wolds extends from the 
Humber above Hull to Flamborough Head, and presents a bold escarpment 
towards the vales of York and Pickering, at the foot of which lie the market 
towns of Market Weighton and Pocklington. The towns along the inner rim, 
which merges in the lowlands of Holderness, are far more important. Foremost 
amongst them is Kingston-upon-HuU, usually known as Hull, from the small 
tributary of the Humber at the mouth of which it has been built. Hull is the 
great port of the whole region, and on the east coast of England it holds a place 
analogous to that of Liverpool on the west coast. The great port of tlie Mersey 
is fed by the manufacturing district of Lancashire ; that of the Humber is 
the emporium of Yorkshire : the former trades in cotton and cottons, the latter 
in wool and woollens. Hull, in certain respects, enjoys advantages superior 
even to those of Liverpool, for the Humber and its many navigable tributaries 
place it in facile communication with a considerable portion of Central England. 
But though possessing the advantage as regards the river and coasting trades, it 
is less favoured with respect to the world at large. Hull can look only to 
Germany, Scandinavia, and the Baltic to feed its commerce, whilst Liverpool faces 
not only Ireland, but also the New World, and trades largely with Africa. 

This advantage of Liverpool, however, only revealed itself after America 
had been discovered and distinct colonies established, and for a considerable 
period Hull was her superior. In the fourteenth century it was the third port 
of England, ranking next to London and Bristol. It furnished Edward III. 
with sixteen vessels, manned by 500 sailors, to be employed against France. 
As long as England was a grain-exporting country — that is, until about 1770— 
large flotillas of barges laden with corn descended all the rivers which discharge 
themselves into the Humber, and Hull was the natural emporium through which 
the corn trade with Holland was carried on.* A^ the present time Hull ranks 
fifth, and it imports corn, flour, and other agricultural produce, as well as cattle, 
from Germany, Denmark, and the Baltic. Wool and tobacco likewise figure 
largely amongst the imports, in return for which Hull exports the produce of 
the numerous industrial inland towns as well as of its own machine shops, 
chemical works, oil-crushing mills, and other factories. Lines of steamers place 
Hull in regular communication with all the ports of the east coast of Great 
Britain and of Northern Europe. Hull was one of the first towns to take advan- 
tage of the maritime route to Siberia opened up by the persistent labours of 
Nordenskjold. In 1877 a Hull steamer laden with coal and petroleum reached 
Tobolsk. The docks, constructed since 1778, and the crescent-shaped roadstead 
of the river, here 2 miles in width, are at all times crowded with shipping of 
every description. There are ship.building yards, principally for the construc- 
* Halley, "Atlas Maritimus et Commercial is," 1728. 



YOEKSHIRE. 253 

tion of iron vessels. Hull has a fine park, a museum, and several learned societies. 
Wilberforce was born here, and a monument has been raised in his honour. 

Cottingham, a suburban village of Hull, with many market gardens, lies on 
the road to Beverleij, a very ancient city, at one time of greater importance than 
its neighbour Hull, and still the capital of the East Riding. Beverley boasts a 
remarkably fine minster. There are chemical and agricultural machinery works, 
and a great trade in corn and provisions is carried on. Passing through Great 
Driffield, we reach Bridlington, with its fine priory dhurch, and Bridlington Quay, 
its port, on the great bay, protected in the north by Flamborough Head. A 
chalybeate spring and several intermittent springs, known as the " Gipsies," 
are near the town. Geologists will be interested in the caverns and fossils of 
the chalk cliffs, as well as in the ancient bushes covered with shells, which Gwyn 
Jeffreys refers to the glacial epoch. 

There are no towns of importance in the fertile district of Holderness. The 
only places worth notice are Patrington, with a church described as " one of the 
glories of England," Withernsea, and Hornsea, the two latter quiet seaside places, 
as is implied by their names. 

We now turn to the desolate moors and romantic valleys of North-western 
Yorkshire, where the mountains are steepest and the population least dense. 
This district, known for its greater part as Craven, is intersected by the upper 
valleys of the rivers Swale, Ure, Nidd, Wharfe, and Aire. It yields a little lead, 
but no coal : hence the striking contrast it presents to the great hive of industry 
which adjoins it on the south. 

The Swale, in its upper course, flows past the small mining villages of Keld 
and E-eeth, and below the ancient parliamentary borough of Richmond it emerges 
upon the broad plain of York. The Norman castle which overshadows this 
picturesque town is now used as a militia store. Near this stagnant town is the 
village of Hipswell, the reputed birthplace of Wickliffe, the reformer. 

The Ure, or Yore, traverses the Wensley Dale, where woollen knitting and 
carpet-making occupy some of the inhabitants of the small towns of Haives and 
Askrigg. Ley bourne, at the mouth of the dale, has a lead mine ; and at Middleham, 
near it, are the ruins of one of the castles held by Warwick the King-maker. 

Bipon is the principal town on the Ure, and one of the oldest. Near it a 
funereal mound is pointed out, which tradition asserts to contain the bones of 
Saxons and Danes who fell on a neighbouring battle-field. There are a small 
cathedral raised above a Saxon crypt and several ancient hospitals. Studley 
Royal, the princely seat of the Marquis of Ripon, lies to the west of Ripon, and 
near it are the picturesque ruins of Fountains Abbey, at one time one of the most 
powerful houses of the Cistercians, who held all the land from the banks of the 
Ure as far as the hills of Cumberland. Boroughbridge and Aldboroug]i, the Roman 
Isurium, are small towns below Ripon, in whose vicinity many antiquities have been 
discovered. Most curious amongst these relics of the past are three obelisk-like 
masses of ragstone, which have long puzzled the brains of antiquaries. 



254 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



The Mdd, in its upper course, flows through the beautiful Nidderdale, the 
principal town in which is Pateley Bridge, where there is a lead mine. Ripley has 



Fig. 124. — Towns in South-Western Yorkshire. 
Scale 1 : 506,000. 




5 Miles. 



an old castle and an ambitious new town-hall. At Knareshorough the river flows 
between steep cliff's, wooded at their foot. Here, too, there is a castle, and, besides 
this, a "dropping well," by the side of which "Mother Shipton,'' the famous 



YOEKSHIRE. 255 

prophetess of the sixteenth century, was born, and extensive limestone quarries. 
Ribston is a small village below Knaresborough, where Ribston pippins were 
first grown. Harrogate, the famous watering-place, occupies a lofty position above 
the Ure. The first spring was discovered in 1596, and there are now known about 
twenty-five, both sulphureous and chalybeate. 

The Wharfe rises in Langshothdale, and takes its winding course through a 
dale renowned for its scenic charms. It flows past the ruins of Bolton Abbey and 
the huge hydropathic establishments which have m^de Ilkley a second Malvern, 
until it reaches Otley, a small manufacturing town, which is the capital of Wharfe- 
dale. At Wetherbij the Wharfe emerges upon the plain of York, and flowing past 
Tadeaster, it joins the Ouse a short distance above Cawood. 

The Aire takes its rise at the foot of the scars of Gordale and in the pretty 
Malham Tarn (1,246 feet above the sea). It flows near Skipton, the capital of the 
Craven district, close by which is the castle of the Cliffords. Cotton-spinning and 
quarrying occupy many of the inhabitants. At Skipton the Aire leaves behind it 
the rugged limestone region, and enters upon more monotonous moorlands, the 
towns amongst which will be described further on. 

A portion of Yorkshire lies beyond the Pennine chain, and is drained by the 
river Eibble and by the Rawthey, a tributary of the Lune. Sedbergh, the principal 
town on the latter, is a secluded place in the midst of steep fells. Its grammar 
school, however, enjoys some reputation, and amongst its scholars was Sedgwick, 
the geologist, a native of the village of Dent, a few miles to the south-east, famous 
for its black marble. 

The Ribble rises in the fells to the north of the Ingleborough, and flows 
through a charming countrj^ past the small town of Settle, dependent upon agri- 
culture and cotton-spinning, into Lancashire. 

We now enter the south-western moorlands, so abundantly supplied with coal 
and iron, and traversed in all directions by running streams, which furnish the 
motive power needed by its innumerable factories. The towns are crowded together 
in this region, and in some localities have almost blotted out green fields. The oppo- 
site diagram will enable us to obtain some notion of their distribution. Broadly 
speaking, the valleys of the Aire and Calder are the seats of the woollen and 
worsted trades, wnth a great deal of cotton-spinning towards the west ; the Upper 
Don is the centre of the iron industry, and its tributary Dearne that of the linen 
trade. 

The Aire and Calder, which traverse the northern portion of this industrial 
region, have vastly changed their character since the Middle Ages. Their water was 
famous then for its crystalline purity, and a Yorkshire poet cried out, " Why should 
not the maidens of Castleford be beautiful ? do they not lave themselves in the 
mingled waters of the Aire and Calder ? " These rivers, in our own day, are hardly 
better than open sewers, for they receive the refuse of innumerable factories. 

The Calder, when it first enters this district, flows past the town oi Keighley, 
engaged in the manufacture of worsted and in cotton- spinning, and known for its 



256 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



ingenious washing macliines. In the valley of the Worth, which joins the Aire at 
Keighley, is Haworth, the home of the Brontes. Bingley is engaged in the worsted 
and woollen trades. Saltaire, below it, is a model town, and was founded in 1853 
by the late Sir Titus Salt, who first introduced the manufacture of alpaca into 
England. Passing Shipley, which carries on the same industries as Bingley, we 
reach Leeds, the commercial and industrial metropolis of -the whole district, by 
right of its population the fifth town of England, but the first in the world for its 
clothing trade. This branch of industry has been carried on here from very 
remote times, and as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century the cloth- 
makers of Leeds, instructed in their craft by Flemish workmen, sent their ware« 



Fig. 125. — Leeds. 
Scale 1 : 192,000. 




•I Miles. 



into every part of England. Halifax at that time was the most important manu- 
facturing town of the county, and its burgesses enjoyed the privilege of beheading 
every malefactor who stole any cloth from off the " tenters," a privilege of which 
they freely availed themselves until its abrogation in 1650. By the end of the 
seventeenth century Leeds had distanced all its Yorkshire rivals in the clothing 
trade, and about the same period, in consequence of the introduction of coal into 
its factories, it enriched itself still further by adding fresh branches of industry to 
that which had first established its reputation. At the present day almost every 
description of cloth is made at Leeds, but, besides this, there are huge flax-mills, 
iron-mills, locomotive works, dye and bleaching works, felt factories, brass foundries, 



YORKSHIRE. 257 

glass houses, chemical works, leather works, and many others. The lower part of 
the town, with its numerous factories lit up on a winter night, is a sight never to 
be forgotten. The principal edifices of Leeds are naturally connected with its 
leading industries ; but, proud of its wealth, the metropolis of the clothing trade 
has built itself a magnificent town-hall, created public libraries and museums, 
erected statues to its great men, and provided, in Woodhouse Moor and Roundhay, 
ample breathing grounds for its population. A grammar school, founded in 1552, 
a medical school, and a Wesleyan college are the foremost educational establish- 
ments of the town. The merchants of Leeds own neat villas on the surrounding 
heights, and more especially near Chapel Allerton. The ruins of Kirkstall Abbey 
lie a short distance above the town, near the Aire. Priestley, the illustrious 
physicist, was born near Leeds. 

Castleford, just below the junction of the Aire with the Calder, is the modern 
representative of the Roman station of Lcgeolium. Its glass houses supply 
millions of bottles every year. Knotting ley, on the margin of the plain of York, 
has a magnificent abbey church, and depends upon glass works and limestone 
quarries. On the height of land to the south of Castleford lies the cheerful old 
town of Pontefrad, i.e. " Broken Bridge," often called Porafret. Its chief 
curiosities are the ruins of the Norman castle in which Richard II. was starved to 
death (1400). The town is famous for its liquorice. 

Bradford, in a narrow valley which trends northward towards the Aire, and 
to the west of Leeds, has made wonderful progress in wealth and population since 
the beginning of this century. In 1801 the town only numbered 13,000 
inhabitants ; in 1822 the first steam-engine was set up ; but at present Bradford 
stands foremost for its woollen stufis and worsted yarns, and has close upon 
200,000 inhabitants. No other town in Yorkshire surpasses it in public spirit. 
The town-hall, with its carillon chimes, is one of the finest buildings in Yorkshire ; 
there are three parks ; and statues have been raised in honour of several bene- 
factors of the town. Bierley, almost a suburb of Bradford, is dependent upon the 
Bowling and Lowmoor iron works, the latter the oldest and most important in 
Yorkshire. 

The river Calder rises in the moors around Todmorden, a brisk manufacturing 
town, with numerous cotton-mills, on the boundary of Lancashire. This upper 
valley of the Calder is very pretty, and would present scenes of rural peace and 
beauty if it were not for the numerous factories which have invaded it. Soioerby, 
EUand, and Brighouse, quiet villages in former times, have grown into little 
manufacturing towns, principally engaged in the production of textiles. Far 
more ancient than either of these, and, in fact, the most venerable manufacturing 
town of Yorkshire, is Halifax, which rises on the slopes of the picturesque hills 
overlooking the Hebble, a tributary of the Calder. Though outstripped in impor- 
tance by Leeds and Bradford, Halifax nevertheless remains one of the most interest- 
ing and picturesque towns of Yorkshire. It is one of the chief seats of the worsted 
and carpet trades.. Huddersfield is a well-built town on the Colne, which joins the 
Calder from the south. It carries on the manufacture of woollens, cottons, and 



258 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



machinery. In its neighbourhood are foundries, quarries, and coal mines. The 
smaller towns dependent upon it— such as Golcar, Linthivaite, Melt/iam, and Wooldale 
— engage in the same industries. 

Once more returning to the Calder, we reach Dewshury, an ancient town, 
where Paulinus first preached Christianity to the heathen. Together with the neigh- 
bouring town of Batley, it forms a parliamentary borough. Batley and Dewsbury 
are the head-quarters of the shoddy trade, whose profitable task it is to convert 
old clothes into new cloth. The same industry engages Morley, Birstall, Cleck- 



Fig. 126.— Halifax and Hubdersfield. 

Scale 1 : 160,000. 




1 Mile. 



heaton, and other towns in the vicinity ; whilst Heckmondwike, to the east, produces 
carpets, blankets, and " flushings." Thornhill, to the south of Dewsbury, boasts a 
fine decorated church and an Elizabethan mansion. 

Wakefield, formerly one of the busiest manufacturing towns of Yorkshire, has 
still some woollen- mills, worsted-mills, and iron works, but flourishes principally 
as the great corn market of the county. The feudal enactment which compelled 
the inhabitants to have their corn ground in certain mills was in force as recently 
as 1853. Amongst the scholars who attended the grammar school of the town 
were Dr. Radcliffe, the founder of the Radclifie Library, and Dr. Bentley, the 



YORKSHIRE. 259 

critic. The battle of Wakefield, in which the Duke of York was defeated and 
slain by the forces of Queen Margaret, was fought around Sandal Castle, to the 
south of the town (1460). 

"Bleak" Bamsley, an interesting town on the river Dearne, is the centre of 
the linen manufacture of Yorkshire. Its neighbourhood abounds in collieries and 
iron works. One of the former has been sunk to a depth of 1,885 feet, and yields 
daily a thousand tons of coal. Worshorough and Nether Hoijland, to the south of 
Barnsley, have important iron works, whilst Silkstone, to the west, is best known 
for its coal. It was also the birthplace of Bramah, the locksmith. 

The river Don rises not far from Woodhead Tunnel, through which runs the 



Fig. 127. — Sheffield. 
Scale 1 : 113,000. 




2 Miles. 



railway connecting South-western Yorkshire with Manchester. Thurlstone, 
Penistone, and Wortley are small towns on the Upper Don, which in its onward 
course traverses the famous manufacturing town of Sheffield. It is admirably 
seated in the midst of a fine amphitheatre of hills, at the point of junction of 
five rivers, and above the stores of coal which furnish its numerous factories 
with the fuel indispensable to them. Sheffield, originally a small feudal village, 
has been for centuries a place of iron-workers, and Chaucer mentions the 
"thwytels" which were made there. Soon after the Reformation skilled 
Flemish metal-workers settled in the town, and greatly contributed towards 



260 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

its prosperity. But it is only since the beginning of the present century that 
this Yorkshire town has won the first place in the world for its cutlery and 
steel. Its population is seven times greater now than what it was in 1801, 
and continues to increase at the same rate. Like London, Manchester, and 
Birmingham, it swallows up the villages in its neighbourhood, and already its 
houses cover an area of 8 square miles. The iron won in this district, which 
is known as Hallamshire, no longer suffices for the wants of the factories, and addi- 
tional supplies have to be procured from abroad. Most of the famous iron of 
Sweden is bought up on account of Sheffield houses. ~ More ivory is used in 
Sheffield than in any other part of the world. It has been computed that the 
ivory handles of the knives annually manufactured at Sheffield have a weight 
of 200 tons, which would represent the spoils of at least 15,000 elephants. 
Cutlery, files, saws, and tools of every description, Britannia and electro-plated 
ware, are the staple manufactures of Sheffield ; and there are also important iron 
and steel works. The water supply of the town is obtained from reservoirs 
formed in the valleys to the west. In 1864 one of these dams burst its 
embankment, causing a great flood, in which 250 persons were drowned and 
much property destroyed. Chantrey, the sculptor, was born at Norton, a village 
near Sheffield. 

The towns and villages around Sheffield participate in its industry. RotJier- 
ham, the most important amongst them, has iron and steel works as well as 
collieries. Mexhoroiigh, near the mouth of the Dearne, in addition to iron works, 
has important glass houses. Soon after passing this town the Don emerges from 
the dreary moorlands, blackened by the smoke of factories, and enters upon the 
smiling plain of York.* 

* For smaller towns and villages not mentioned above refer to the Statistical Appendix. 




CHAPTER X. 




THE BASINS OF THE MERSEY AND THE RIBBLE. 

(Cheshire and Lancashire.) 

General Features. 

HOUGH small in extent, the district which we are about to describe 
is one of the most densely peopled in the worid, and green fields 
appear almost obliterated by the masses of brick houses raised by 
human hands. Lancashire has more inhabitants within its limits 
than any other county of England, not even excepting Yorkshire 
or Middlesex — the one more than thrice its size, the other occupied by the greater 
part of the metropolis. If the whole world were as densely peopled as Lancashire, 
it would hold 76,000,000,000 of human beings. 

At first view this county does not appear to possess exceptional advantages. 
The soil is only of middling fertility, and vast tracts on the western slope of the 
Pennine chain are not even cultivated. The climate is moist, and the prevailing 
winds carry the sea-fogs inland, where they are precipitated as rain. The coast, it 
is true, is indented by several estuaries, in which the tide rises to a considerable 
height ; but this is an advantage enjoyed by many other parts of England. What 
has proved the great source of wealth of Lancashire is its coal measures, and as 
the coal is found in close proximity to an excellent harbour, it became at once 
available as a means of establishing commercial relations with foreign countries. 
The raw materials could thus be conveyed within a short distance of the locality in 
which they were to be converted into manufactures, and it was possible to 
concentrate here commercial emporiums, factories, and mines. The enterprise and 
energy of the inhabitants have done the rest. The people of Lancashire are in no 
respect inferior in skill to their neighbours of Yorkshire. They have turned to 
profit all the resources which their county ofiers, and derive benefit even from 
advantages which elsewhere are allowed to lie sterile. The local dialects are as 
tenaciously preserved as amongst the dwellers on the other side of the Pennine 
chain. It has been observed that the large rivers and estuaries form the boundaries 
between a variety of local dialects. Where the rivers can be forded, or are spanned 



262 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



by a bridge, the same dialect is heard on both banks ; but where they constitute a 
serious obstacle to free intercourse the dialects differ.* 

Cheshire consists in the main of a broad plain, which extends from the river 
Dee to the Mersey, and is intersected by the Weaver and its tributaries. The soil 
of this plain is for the most part loam ; it is of exceeding fertility, and it is 
impossible to imagine a finer grazing district. The grass retains its verdure 
throughout the year, and the dairy husbandry is consequently attended to with 
great success. A broken ridge of hills divides this plain into a western and an eastern 
portion. It passes into the county from the south, and extends northward as far 
as the Lower Mersey. Its most remarkable feature is the insulated rock of Beeston, 
crowned with the ruins of a castle. In the east the plain is bounded by a range of 
uplands, known as Congleton Edge and Macclesfield Forest. These uplands are 
a southern extension of the Pennine chain ; they separate Cheshire from Stafford- 



Fig. 128.— Chester. 
Scale 1 : 500,000. 




3' 90 W.of G. 



2°40' 



5 Miles. 



shire and Derbyshire, and contain coal, iron, and lead. Far more important than 
either of these are, however, the salt mines and brine springs in the valley of the 
"Weaver. In the north-west the plain of Cheshire runs into the peninsula of 
Wirral, which juts out to the Irish Sea between the estuaries of the Dee and 
Mersey. Cotton and silk spinning and weaving are the principal branches of 
manufacture carried on. 

Chester, the ancient capital of the county, is seated upon the river Dee, which a 
few miles below the city broadens out into a wide and shallow estuary close to the 
Welsh frontier. It is of great antiquity, as is proved by its very name, a corrup- 
tion of the Eoman eastnmi, and a great Roman highway, now known as Watling 
Street, connected it with London and Dover. The foundations of Roman buildings 
-and antiquities of every description have been discovered. The Romans called 



* James Pearson ; Nodal and Milner, " Glossary of the Lancashire Dialect." 



CHESHIRE. 263 

their city Devay after the river Dee. They certainly worked lead mines in its 
vicinity, for two *' pigs " of that metal have been found, one of which has impressed 
upon it the name of Vespasian. That which distinguishes Chester more especially 
from all other towns of modern England is its streets carved out of the rock, and 
the covered arcades, or " rows," in front of the first-floor rooms of the houses 
which line them. The old Roman ramparts have been transformed into walls, 
which are wide enough to allow of three men walking abreast. Perambulating 
them, we obtain curious glimpses of the city : we look down upon the famous 
♦• Roodee," the Chester racecourse, backed by the Clwydian hills. The circuit of 
the walls is interrupted by several towers, and from one of these Charles I. is said 
to have witnessed the defeat of his army on Rowton Heath in 1645. 

Most prominent amongst the buildings of the town is the venerable cathedral, 
reopened, after having been carefully restored, in 1876. Its foundations date back 
to the twelfth century ; but the existing building, which is chiefly in the perpen- 
dicular style, is of more recent date. Far more venerable than the cathedral is the 
church of St. John, outside the city walls, with its detached belfry, one of the most 
splendid examples of early Norman archi- 
tecture ^^' ^^^' — Watergate Row, Chest 

Chester is still a seaport ; but neither 
its canalised river, nor the cantil which 
connects the city with the Mersey at 
Ellesmere Port, is navigable by any but 
the smallest coasting craft. Hence the 
maritime commerce of Chester is no longer 
what it used to be. Ship-building and 
lead smelting are carried on to a small 
extent ; but it is more especially through 
its trade in cheese that Chester has become 

known throughout the commercial world. Many strangers have settled in the city, 
attracted by its pure air and cheap living. Within a few miles of it is Eaton Hall, 
the magnificent seat of the Duke of Westminster. Tarporley, a quaint old market 
town, where hosiery and leather breeches are manufactured, lies about 10 miles to 
the E.S.E. of Chester. 

Birkenhead, the principal town on the peninsula of Wirral, is a mere depend- 
ency of Liverpool, which lies within sight of it, on the opposite bank of the 
Mersey, and with which a tunnel will soon connect it. Its vast docks have been 
constructed since 1847, principally through the exertions of Mr. Laird. They 
cover an area of 165 acres, have quays 10 miles in length, and 235 acres of 
warehouses. One of these artificial basins is the largest into which the waters of 
the Mersey are admitted. Ship-building and machinery are the principal industries 
carried on here. Tranmere and Wallasey are populous suburbs of Birkenhead, 
and from the latter a row of pretty villas extends to the delightful watering-place 
of New Brighton, at the mouth of the Mersey, where a charming view of the 
Welsh hills presents itself, and the crowds of shipping entering and leaving the 




264 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



port may be watched. The two Bebinytons are pleasant villages to the south-east of 
Birkenhead ; whilst Bilston, with the Liverpool Observatory, lies to the west. 
Parkgate is a small watering-place on the estuary of the Dee. 

Ascending the Mersey above Liverpool and Birkenhead, we reach Runcorn, in 
the vicinity of the mouth of the Weaver — the busy shipping port of the Stafford- 
shire Potteries, and of the salt mines in the basin of the Weaver. That river is 
fed by numerous streams which rise in the saliferous triassic formation. The 
names of several towns in its neighbourhood terminate in the Celtic wich, 
or rather wyche, which signifies " salt work," and must not be confounded 
with the Danish wicl', the meaning of which is "bay." Of these salt 

Fig. 130.— Chester Cathedral (as restored). 




mines and brine springs those at Northwich are by far the most productive. 
The saliferous strata have a total thickness of about 100 feet, and extend 
for a considerable distance beneath the soil. They are honeycombed by the 
galleries excavated by the miners, and although these are supported by a 
multitude of pillars, the ground has given way in many places, and a portion of 
the town had to be deserted by its inhabitants, who have built themselves fresh 
dwellings at Witton and other villages in the neighbourhood. Middlewich, on the 
Dane, a tributary of the Weaver, and NanUdch, a quaint old town, on the Weaver 
itself, are the principal amongst the other salt towns of Cheshire. In favourable 
years the mines and springs of the Weaver basin yield over 1,000,000 tons of salt, 



LANCASHIRE. 265 

whicli supplies a profitable cargo to outward-bound merchantmen, and in this 
manner the miners of Cheshire contribute largely to the prosperity of the great 
port of the Mersey. Most of this salt, which is cut into huge quadrangular blocks, 
is sent to India, E-ussia, and the United States. The salt mines of Cheshire may 
be less famous than those of Wieliczka in Galicia, or of Hallein and Hallstatt in 
Austria, but commercially they are certainly of far greater importance. 

Crewe, to the east of Nantwich, has grown from an agricultural village into a 
populous hive of industry since the establishment of the locomotive factories of 
the London and North- Western Railway Company. There are, besides these, iron 
and Bessemer steel works. 

Sandhach, Congleton, Macclesfield, and Bollington, to the north-east of Crewe, 
and at the foot of the picturesque range of heights which stretches along the 
eastern border of the county, are the centres of a manufacturing district, in which 
silk spinning and weaving are the principal branches of industry carried on. 
Macclesfield, the most important of these towns, engages also in the velvet and 
cotton trade, and near it are coal mines and quarries. 

A second manufacturing district of even greater importance occupies the north- 
eastern portion of the county, extending down the picturesque valley of the 
Mersey, almost from its origin in the moorlands of Yorkshire to wdthin a few 
miles of its junction with the Irwell. Cotton is king in this district, the natural 
head- quarters of which are at Manchester. Stockport is the great cotton town of 
Cheshire. It occupies a beautiful site on both banks of the Mersey, here spanned 
by a fine viaduct, and, in addition to cotton stufis, produces felt hats. Higher up 
on the Mersey are Hyde, one of the most prosperous of these cotton towns, 
Dukinfield, and Stalyhridge, which, in addition to cotton-mills, have important 
machine works, and manufacture nails and rivets. Bredbury and Mottram are the 
principal towns in the Longdondale, which joins the Mersey above Stockport. 
The hills along its sides yield coal and iron. 

Descending the Mersey, we pass Sale, a small manufacturing town, and, 
turning away from the river, reach Altringham, or Altrincham, a clean and cheerful 
town, with a few flax-mills, close to Bowden Downs and the beautiful park of 
Dunham Massey. 

Lymm, near the confluence of the Bollin with the Mersey, and Knutsford, half- 
way between the Bollin and the Weaver, are prosperous market towns. 

Lancashire naturally falls into three parts, of which the first lies between the 
Mersey and the Ribble, and is the great seat of the cotton industry of the British 
Islands ; the second stretches to the north of the Ribble, and is mainly agricultural ;. 
whilst the third includes the hundred of Furness, a detached part of the county 
lying beyond Morecambe Bay, which has recently attained considerable importance 
on account of its iron mines and furnaces. The central and eastern portions of 
Southern Lancashire are occupied by hilly moorlands,* which throw off" a branch 
in the direction of Liverpool, and thus separate the plain of the Mersey, with its 
mosses, from the western maritime plain, which near the coast merges into 
* Pendle Hill, their culminating point, attains a height of 1,816 feet. 
114— E 



266 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



forbidding niarslies. These moorlands are not by any means fertile, and before 
tbe coal mines which lie amongst them were opened to become a source of wealth 
to the county, they supported only a small population. Since then hamlets have 
grown into towns, towns into provinces of houses, and there is not a district of 
similar extent in England which supports so large a number of inhabitants. 
Northern Lancashire includes a similar tract of moorland in the west, which rises 



Fig. 131. — Towns in Lancashire and Cheshibe. 
Scale 1 : 792,000. 




W of Gi 



10 MUes. 



to a height of 1,709 feet in the Bleasdale Moors ; but for the most part it consists 
of a broad plain, the maritime portion of which, between the Ribble and Lancaster 
Bay, is known as the Fylde. The hundred of Furness forms part of the Cumbrian 
region, and within it lie a portion of the Windermere and Coniston Water, from 
the banks of which Coniston Old Man rises to a height of 2,655 feet. 



LANCASHIRE. 



267 



The coast of Lancashire, though much indented by arms of the sea, is 
singularly deficient in good harbours, and even the approaches to the Mersey are 
much obstructed by sand-banks. Morecambe Bay, which forms so inviting 
a feature on a map, is also choked with sand-banks, and when the tide is out it is 
possible to cross almost dry shod. 

Lancashire is most essentially a manufacturing and mining county, its agri- 
culture being quite of secondary importance. An extensive system of canals 
places its principal centres of population in communication with each other, 
and railways intersect it in every direction. 

There is not, probably, a river in the world which sets in motion the wheels 
of so many mills, and carries on its back so many vessels, as does the Mersey ; 
and yet this river drains only a small basin, and its volume does not exceed 
1,400 cubic feet a second. But within this basin lies Manchester, the great seat of 



Fig. 132. — Manchester and Environs. 
Scale 1 : 375,000. 




W.of G. e-30 



5 Miles. 



the cotton trade, and its mouth is guarded by Liverpool, the commercial port of the 
most important manufacturing region in the world. 

Manchester and Salford are built upon the black and dye-stained waters of the 
Irwell, Irk, and Medlock, into which numerous factories discharge their refuse, 
but which the corporations of these two towns have at last determined to cleanse 
and convert into limpid streams. The volume of water brought down from the 
moorlands by these rivulets is not very great, but it suffices to fill a dock crowded 
with barges. It has been proposed by engineers to make Manchester a maritime 
port by converting the Mersey and its tributary Irwell into a ship canal, up 
which the tide would ascend as far as the present dock. The construction of 
such a canal, which would have a length of 33 miles, a width of 220 and a depth 
of 20 feet, it is assumed, would require an expenditure of close upon four millions. 
If this scheme should ever be realised, Manchester will have no longercause to 
envy Glasgow, its Scotch rival. For the present the metropolis of the cotton 



268 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

trade is almost entirely dependent upon the railway which connects it with 
Liverpool. This is one of the oldest lines in existence, and its opening in 1830 
marked the starting-point of a new industrial and commercial era, which has 
influenced the whole world. Near its centre this railway crosses the quaking 
Chat Moss, which even engineers of our own days would look upon as a formidable 
obstacle. 

The city of Manchester is not, like Bradford, Middlesborough, and other vast 
manufacturing centres of England, of yesterday's growth. It is the modern repre- 
sentative of the Roman Mancunmm, and as early as the fourteenth century it had 
become known for its manufacture of cloth, introduced by Flemish workmen. At 
a subsequent period other branches of industry were established by Protestant 
refugees, whom religious wars had driven from the continent, and about the begin- 
ning of the eighteenth century cotton was first largely manufactured, in addition 
to wool. In our own days Manchester is .known throughout the world as the 
metropolis of the cotton trade, and its great merchants have become "cotton 
lords." Cotton factories, however, are not so much to be found in Manchester 
itself — which is rather the market and business centre of the trade — as in its 
suburbs, and in the numerous towns which stud the country between Preston and 
Clitheroe in the north, and Stockton in the south. There are towns in this district 
which, relatively to their size, employ more hands in their cotton-mills than 
Manchester ; but that city, if we include Salford and the more remote suburbs, 
nevertheless ranks first amongst all as a manufacturing centre no less than as 
a place of business. Thousands of workmen find employment in its cotton-mills, 
calendering and finishing works, bleaching, dyeing, and print works. There 
are, besides, worsted, flax, and silk mills, though these are very subordinate to 
the leading industry. Far more important are the machine shops, which supply 
most of the cotton-mills with machinery. Of importance, likewise, are the manu- 
facture of miscellaneous metal articles, glass-making, coach-building, and brass 
finishing. Millions of pounds of capital have been invested in these various 
branches of manufacture, and we need not, therefore, wonder if zealous advocates 
of a policy which considers above all things financial and industrial interests should 
have come forward at Manchester. It was in the old Free-Trade Hall, now 
replaced by a building of ampler dimensions, that free trade was hatched under 
the auspices of the Anti- Corn-Law League. Politicians of the so-called Man- 
chester school, a very influential party in England, are generally credited with a 
desire of remaining neutral under any circumstances, and desiring peace at any 
price, as long as the markets of the world are not closed against Lancashire 
produce. Of recent years, however, the factory owners of Lancashire have not 
lain upon a bed of roses. The United States have shut out their goods by high 
protective duties, and India has established cotton-mills of her own to supply the 
wants of her population. Manchester, consequently, has not recently grown quite 
so fast as several other towns. 

Sumptuous public edifices bear witness to the wealth of the great Lancashire 
city. The new Town Hall is one of the most magnificent buildings of the class 



LANCASHIRE. 269 

in England ; the Exchange is a vast and splendid pile, in the classic style ; the 
Assize Courts is a beautiful Gothic pile, by Waterhouse-— the same architect to 
whom we are indebted for the Town Hall. The cathedral, or «* old church," is 
venerable for its age, but not remarkable for size. Amongst charitable institutions 
the most important is the Infirmary, in front of which have been placed statues 
of Wellington, Watt, Dalton (the discoverer of the atomic theory), and Sir Robert 
Peel. Public parks and gardens supply the citizens with a fair amount of fresh air. 
Besides three parks, one of them having a museum in its centre, there are the 
Zoological Gardens at Bellevue, the Botanic Gardens at Trafford, the Alexandra 
Park, with an Aquarium, and the Pomona Gardens, the two latter favourite places 
of resort. 

In addition to pure air, Manchester is anxious to secure an ample supply of 
pure water. The present supply amounts to 240,000,000 gallons daily, being at 
the rate of 30 gallons per head of the population ; but as a considerable propor- 
tion of this quantity is absorbed by the factories, the remainder does not ade- 
quately meet the requirements of the inhabitants. The corporation has conse- 
quently purchased a charming lake in Cumberland, the Thirlemere, with a view 
of raising its level 50 feet by means of a dam, and carrying its limpid contents 
along an aqueduct 90 miles in length, as far as Manchester. No doubt the 
corporation might have obtained all the water they require had they converted 
the neighbouring heaths into a huge basin for catching the rain, and constructed 
gigantic reservoirs ; but these heaths are already dotted over with houses and 
factories, and all the wealth of Manchester would hardly suffice to purchase them. 

Manchester is not merely a place of business and industry, for it can boast 
its libraries, learned societies, and educational institutions. Cheetham Library, 
founded in 1457, is the oldest amongst the former, but the modern Free Library 
is far richer, if wealth can be counted by the number of volumes. Foremost 
amongst educational institutions is the famous college founded by John Owen 
in 1846. It has recently received a long-coveted charter, which confers upon it 
the privileges of a university, named in honour of the Queen. 

The towns and villages around Manchester are all of them more or less 
dependent upon that city, and carry on the same industries. Swinton, Pendlebury, 
and Presticich are towns on both banks of the Irwell above Manchester. Below 
that city the river named flows past Trafford Park and the suburbs of Eccles and 
Barton, the one famous for its wakes and cakes, the other noteworthy for the 
aqueduct which carries the Bridge water Canal across the Irwell. Close by, at 
Worsley, is a seat of the Earl of Ellesmere. Strefford and Bidahury are the prin- 
cipal places on the Mersey to the south of Manchester. Stretford has large 
slaughter-houses for pigs, whilst Didsbury is the seat of a Wesleyan Methodist 
College. The eastern and south-eastern suburbs of Manchester include Gorton, 
with chemical works, in addition to the all-pervading cotton-mills, Neivton Heath, 
Bradford, OpeAishaw, Rusholme, and LevcuHholme. 

Farther away in the same direction, we reach a constellation of manu- 
facturing towns, the principal amongst which is Ashton-iinder-Lyme, and which 



270 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

includes amongst its members the Cheshire towns of Stalybridge, Dukinfield, and 
Hyde (see p. 265). In the whole of this district cotton-spinning is the leading 
industry, but a good deal of machinery is also made. Mossley, Hurst, Droylsden, 
and Denton are the principal villages dependent upon Ashton. 

Oldham, to the north-east of Manchester, is almost wholly devoted to cotton 
spinning and weaving, and machine-making. The machine works of Messrs. 
Piatt are the largest in the United Kingdom. Middleton, on the Irk, to the 
north of Manchester, manufactures tapes and small wares, in addition to brocaded 
silks, which are frequently sold as the produce of the looms of Bethnal Green. 

Bolton-h-Moors is another centre of a congeries of factory towns, and 
scarcely yields to Oldham in population. It is a busy hive of industry, which 
has grown up in the midst of sterile moors near the river Roach, and owes much 
of its prosperity to Flemish, Palatine, and Huguenot emigrants. During the 
Civil War it was besieged by the Earl of Derby. The town is famous for its fine 
yarns, shirtings, and cambrics, and also turns out engines, machinery, patent 
safes and locks, and other minor articles. Amongst its buildings are a town-hall, 
a large market hall, and a free library with museum. A monument has been 
erected to Crompton, the inventor of the mule. Collieries are worked in the 
neighbourhood. Farnivorth, Kearsleij, and HalUwell are minor manafacturing 
places near Bolton. Farther away towards the south-west are the cotton towns 
of Leigh — where also silk is woven on hand-looms — Atherton, Tyldesley, Astley, and 
Bedford. The country around these towns is rich in coal and building stone, and 
the dairies supply excellent cheese. 

Burp, on a hill overlooking the Irwell, is another centre of the cotton trade, 
besides which the paper for the Times newspaper is made here. Sir Robert Peel was 
a native of the town, and a monument has been erected in his memory. Siimmerseat 
is higher up on the river, with the factory of Messrs. Grant, who were the original 
Brothers Cheery ble in "Nicholas Nickleby." Radclife and Whitefield are in the 
same neighbourhood. Ascending the Irwell, we pass Ramshottom and HasUngden, 
and reach Bacup, known for its co-operative cotton factories, in the heart of the 
Rossendale Forest, and near the head of the Irwell. 

Rochdale, on the Roch, an affluent of the Irwell, is chiefly occupied in the woollen, 
and more especially the flannel trade. It was here that twenty-eight " Equitable 
Pioneers " founded in 1842 a co-operative society which has served as a model to 
similar associations throughout the world. Hey wood, lower down on the Roch, is 
engaged in cotton-spinning ; whilst Littleborough, near the head of the river, and 
at the foot of Blackstone Edge, is noted for its pretty scenery. 

Having now dealt with the Lancashire towns which occupy the upper basin of 
the Mersey, we return to the south, in order to descend that river as far as 
Liverpool. On our way we pass the important manufacturing tovm of Warrington, 
where the Mersey is spanned by a bridge built in the time of Henry YIL From 
this bridge the river is navigable for vessels of 150 tons burden. Warrington 
has iron and steel works, engineering factories, glass houses, and wire works. 
Pins are enumerated amongst the articles made here. A few miles lower 



LANCASHIRE. 



271 



down, between Runcorn, on the Cheshire side, and Widnes, the estuary of the 
Mersey has a width of 7,500 feet, but is nevertheless crossed by a magni- 
ficent railway viaduct. Widnes is a town of evil odour, with chemical works, 
soap factories, bone-manure works, and copper- smelting houses. Continuino- our 
journey, we soon obtain a sight of the small town of Garston, after which house 
succeeds house in a continuous city, which is half hidden by the rigging of the 
innumerable ships and steamers lying at anchor in the roadstead or crowding the 
docks. This is Liverpool. 

This powerful city has only risen into importance in recent times. It is not 
even mentioned in the list of towns and villages in the Domesday Book. 



Fig. 133.— Liverpool. , 
Scale 1 : 800.000. 




6 Miles. 



The first reference to it occurs in the year 1172, when Henry II. was preparing 
to invade Ireland, and embarked his troops in the estuary of the Mersey. In 1338, 
when Edward III. made a general levy upon the vessels and sailors of his 
kingdom, Liverpool was as yet of such small importance that out of a total of 
700 vessels and 14,141 men it was called upon to furnish a solitary barge manned 
by six mariners. Even as recently as 1571 the citizens of Liverpool, when 
appealing to Queen Elizabeth to reduce their taxes, referred to their town as a 
"poor decayed place."* About 1700 Liverpool had hardly 5,000 inhabitants; 
but the gradual silting up of the Dee, and consequent destruction of the port of 
Chester, proved of advantage to Liverpool, whose merchants, about this period, 
* Weale, " Public Works of England." 



272 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



began to grow ricli, mainly from the profits derived from the slave trade. When 
Fuseli, the artist, was called upon to admire the wide streets and noble buildings 
of a quarter of the town then recently constructed, he said, with reference to this 
fact, that he felt as if the blood of negroes must ooze out of the stones. 

Liverpool is largely indebted for its prosperity to its central position with 
reference to the sister islands of Great Britain and Ireland, for upon it con- 
verge all the great highways over which the home trade of the British Islands 
is carried on. This central position has been equally advantageous to its 
foreign trade. Though farther away than Bristol from the ocean, which is 
the high-road connecting England with America, Africa, and the Indies, this 
disadvantage is more than compensated for by Liverpool's proximity to the vast 
coal basin which has become the great seat of English manufacturing industry. 



Fig. 134. — The Landing-stage. 




The docks are the great marvel of Liverpool. No other town can boast of 
possessing so considerable an extent of sea- water enclosed between solid masonry 
walls, and kept under control by locks. There are maritime cities with roadsteads 
capable of accommodating entire fleets, but few amongst them have docks 
sufficiently spacious to admit thousands of vessels at one and the same time, like 
London and Liverpool. The latter is even superior in this respect to the great 
commercial emporium on the Thames, and certainly preceded it in the construction 
of docks. In 1709 the Corporation of Liverpool first caused a pool to be deepened 
in order that it might afford shelter to vessels. This, the precursor of the existing 
basins, has been filled up since, and the sumptuous revenue and customs buildings 
have been raised upon its site. But for the one dock thus abolished, twenty-seven 
others, far more vast and convenient, have been constructed since. These docks 



LANCASHIRE. 



273 



extend for 5 miles along the river-side, and have an area of 1,000 acres, of which 
the basins, wet and dry docks, occupy 277 acres. Vast though these docks are, 
they no longer suffice for the trade of the Mersey, and others have been excavated 
at Birkenhead, on the Cheshire bank of the Mersey, and at Garston, abo.ve Liverpool. 
Whilst eight of these docks are thrown open to the general trade, there are others 
specially dedicated to America, the East Indies, Russia, or Australia, or respectively 
to the timber trade, the tobacco trade, or emigration business ; and whilst certain 
quays are covered with bales of cotton, others are given up to sacks of corn, barrels 
of palm oil, or ground nuts. A stranger who spends a day in these docks, and in 
the warehouses which surround them, visits, in fact, a huge commercial museum, 
in which various articles are represented in bulk, and not by small samples. 

Liverpool cannot yet claim precedence of London as the greatest commercial 
town of the world, though its export of British produce is more considerable, and its 

Fior. 135. — St. George's Hall. 




commercial fleet more numerous and powerful.* More than one-third of the tonnage 
of the whole of the United Kingdom belongs to the port of Liverpool, whose 
commercial marine is superior to that of either France or Germany. In order to 
facilitate the embarkation and disembarkation of travellers, a landing-stage, 
floating on pontoons, and connected with the land by six iron bridges, has been 
placed in the Mersey. This remarkable structure is nearly half a mile in length, 
and rises and sinks with the tide. 

In 1720 scarcely one-fortieth of the foreign trade of England was carried on 
through the port of Liverpool. A century later about one-sixth of this trade had 
passed into the hands of the merchants established at the mouth of the Mersey, and 
at present they export about one-half of all the British produce that finds its way 
into foreign countries. The increase of population has kept pace with the expanding 

* See Appendix. 



274 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



commerce of the town, and the inhabitants are at present a hundred times more 
numerous than they were at the commencement of the eighteenth century. 
Including its suburbs, Liverpool is the second town of the United Kingdom. It 
altoo-ether monopolizes certain branches of commerce. Nearly all the cotton of 
the world finds its way to Liverpool, and is thence distributed amongst the towns 
of continental Europe. Most of the emigrants who leave Europe embark at 
Liverpool. The principal articles of export are coal, salt, cutlery, fire-arms. 



Fig. 136.— The Liverpool Water Works. 
According to H. Beloe. Scale 1 : 350,000. 




5 Miles. 



machinery, china and earthenware, and textile fabrics of every description. The 
local manufactures contribute in a certain measure in feeding this export trade. 
There are iron foundries and brass works, machine shops, chemical works, breweries, 
and, above all, the ship-building yards on both banks of the Mersey. 

Like most other large towns, Liverpool can show a few noble edifices. It has 
its public parks, a zoological and a botanical garden. Interesting, too, is one of 
the cemeteries, with catacombs cut out of the rock. Most prominent amongst its 
public buildings is St. George's Hall, in the style of a Greek temple. Near it 



LANCASHIRE. 275 

have been raised a monument to the Duke of Wellington, and statues of the 
Queen and Prince Albert. The Free Library and Museum, founded by Sir 
W. Brown, are in the same quarter of the town, and contain valuable collections of 
books, stuffed animals, antiquities, china, and paintings. The new Exchange 
Buildings are in the classic style, and surround a courtyard ornamented with a 
monument to Nelson. Foremost amongst educational institutions are the College, 
the Liverpool and the Royal Institutions, the latter with a gallery of paintings. 
The oldest church is that of St. Nicholas, with a remarkable lantern spire. 

Liverpool, unfortunately, has not yet been provided with an ample supply of 
pure drinking water. The reservoirs constructed at an expenditure of nearly 
two million sterling at the foot of Rivington Pike, 20 miles north from the 
town, cover an area of 600 acres, and collect the drainage of 10,000 acres, but 
they are not suflScient. Supplemented by several springs, they only yield 28 
gallons per head daily for a population of 650,000 souls, and a considerable portion 
of this is consumed by factories.* The corporation has consequently sought 
for some other source of supply, and after careful consideration the upper valley 
of Yyrnwy, or Yerniew, which is tributary to the Severn, has been fixed upon, 
and will be converted into a huge reservoir of water for its use. 

Liverpool, in addition to constructing several new docks, is at present 
carrying out another great work, namely, a railway tunnel, which will pass 
beneath the Mersey, and into its Cheshire suburb of Birkenhead. Much remains, 
however, to be done before Liverpool can be called a healthy town. Of every 
1,000 children born only 540, or hardly more than half, attain the age of five 
years ; and about 20,000 of the inhabitants live in cellars. Poverty, and the 
floating population of sailors of every nation, swell the criminal records. About 
50,000 persons are annually taken into custody by the police, or one out of every 
10 inhabitants — a proportion not met with in any other town of Europe. 

Numerous smaller towns encircle Liverpool on the land side, and form its suburbs 
and favourite places of residence. Amongst these suburban towns and villages 
are Toocteth, Wavertree, West Derby, Walton-on'the-Hill, and Bootle-cum-Linacre. 
Following the low shore in a northerly direction, we pass the cheerful seaside 
villages of Seaforth, Waterloo, and Great Crosby, double Formby Head, and 
reach Southport, a great favourite with the people of Lancashire, who speak of it 
as of an English Montpelier. A pier stretches over a mile into the sea ; there 
are a winter garden and an aquarium ; and over 700 species of native plants 
grow on the sand-hills which shut in the town, which has Birkdale for its suburb. 

Prescot, the birthplace of Kemble the tragedian, lies a few miles to the east 
of Liverpool. Watches are made here by machinery, and there are collieries in 
the neighbourhood. Knowsley, the family residence of the Earls of Derby 
since 1385, lies near it. St. Helenas, to the north-east of Prescot, has plate- 
glass, chemical, and copper works. Farther east still are Ashton- in- Maker field 
and Newton-in-MakerJield. The former is engaged in the manufacture of locks, 
the latter has cotton-mills, iron foundries, and glass houses. 
* H. Beloe, *' The Liverpool Water Works.' 



276 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

The basin of tlie Eibble is less extensive tban that of the Mersey, but it 
nevertheless contains a considerable population, and abounds in large manu- 
facturing towns. Entering tbis basin from tbe soutb-west, we first reacb TFigan, 
on the Douglas, the centre of the Lancashire iron and coal district, with huge 
iron works, cotton-mills, and collieries. One of tbe coal-pits in tbe neighbour- 
hood of this town bas tbe greatest depth of any in England, and tbe temperature 
at its bottom is never less tban 93° Fahr. Ince-in-Makerfield and Hindley are 
smaller towns in the neighbourhood of Wigan, which engage in the same industries. 
Ormskirk, a market town of some importance, famous for its gingerbread, lies 10 
miles to the west. 

Blaokhurn, tbe principal town in the valley of tbe Darwen, is almost blacker 
and noisier than otber towns of this region ; but at all events it enjoys with tbe 
towns in its neigbbourbood the advantage of being surrounded by breezy bills. 
Cotton-spinning is tbe leading industry bere as well as at Over and Lower Darwen 
and at Oswaldtivistle, but a good deal of machinery is also made, and much coal 
won. Heald knitting is still carried on as a bome industry. Blackburn was the 
birtbplace of the first Sir Robert Peel, and of Hargreaves. tbe inventor of the 
spinning- jenny. Its public buildings are on a noble scale, and contain a museum 
and free library. 

Accrington, tbougb a neighbour of Blackburn, lies within tbe basin of the 
Calder, whicb, like tbe Darwen, pays tribute to tbe Kibble. It is a place of 
modern growth, witb cotton-mills and chemical works, and has its satellites in 
Church) Clayton-le-MoorS) and Oreat Harwood. Burnley, near tbe junction of the 
Calder and the Burn, in a broken and picturesque district, bas a little woollen 
trade in addition to tbat of cotton. Many gentlemen's seats are in its vicinity, 
including tbat of tbe Towneley family, wbere casts of the Towneley marbles are 
kept. Ascending the Calder, we pass througb Brierfield and Nelson, and reach the 
ancient little town of Colne, tbe Roman Colunio, close to the Yorkshire boundary. 
Padiham, an uninviting cotton town, is below Burnley, and is succeeded by the 
pretty village of Whalley, witb the ruins of its famous abbey. The Jesuit College of 
Stony hurst is in this neigbbourbood, near tbe northern bank of the Ribble. 
Clitheroe, a few miles farther up the Ribble, is picturesque despite its few cotton- 
mills. It lies near tbe foot of the Pendle Hill (1,816 feet), a huge mass of 
carboniferous limestone, formerly supposed to be tbe resort of the Lancashire 
Witches. Ruhus chamcemorus, a semi-arctic plant, grows on tbe summit. 

Descending the Ribble, we pass tbe ancient village of Rihchester (it represents 
the Cocium or Rigodunum of tbe Romans), and reach Preston, majestically seated 
upon the steep banks of the river, and at the head of its estuary. Preston is one 
of the leading manufacturing towns of Lancashire, as befits the birthplace of 
R. Arkwright, and carries on a considerable trade by sea. Tbe wealth of the 
town, joined to tbe beauty of its position, has won for it the epithet of " Proud." 
Tbe modern town-ball is a sumptuous building. The strike whicb took place here 
in 1853-54 was one of tbe most remarkable in history, for it lasted seven months. 
Chorley, to the south of Preston, has cotton-mills and waggon works, and is a place 



LANCASHIRE. 



277 



of some note, whilst Leyland, Fulwood, and Kirhham are mere villao-es with 
cotton-mills. Lytham, on the northern bank of the Ribble, attracts a few visitors 
as a sea-bathing place, but the favourite watering-place of Lancashire is Blackpool, 
a little farther north, where the usually flat shore rises into earthy cliffs, from 
whose summit may be enjoyed a view of the Irish Sea. 

The road from Preston to Lancaster crosses the Wyre at Garstang, near which 
is Greenhaigh Castle. 

Lancaster, the political capital of Lancashire, takes its name from the river 

Lune, or Lun, which washes its walls. It occupies the site of a Roman station 

probably Longovicium — and is commanded by a modernised castle, whence may be 
enjoyed the magnificent panorama presented by the Welsh hills, the Isle of Man, 
and the Cumbrian Mountains. The town manufactures American cloth, leather, cocoa 

Fig. 137.— Preston. 
Scale 1 : 450,000. 




Depth under 5 Fathoms 



Depth over 5 I'dthoniii. 
1 Mile 



matting, furniture, silks, cottons, and waggons. A short railway connects Lancaster 
with its outlying suburbs of Poulton-le- Sands and Morecamhe, on Morecambe Bay. 
Vessels of 300 tons burden are able to ascend the Lune with the tide as far as the 
quays of Lancaster, the maritime port of which is Fleetivood, a forsaken-looking 
place at the mouth of the Wyre, connected by a line of steam-packets with 
Belfast. Near it is the famous school installed in old Rossall House. 

The detached portion of Lancashire " north of the Sands " (that is, those of 
Morecambe Bay, which are exposed, and can be crossed when the sea retires 
from the bay) is also known as Furness, from a famous old abbey, beautiful even 
in its present state of ruin, and seated in a country more beautiful still. Ulverston 
is the nominal capital of this district. A ship canal, lined by furnaces and paper- 
mills, connects it with Morecambe Bay. John Barrow, the arctic explorer, was 
born at Ulverston, and a monument has been raised to commemorate him. The 



278 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

great town of this district, however, and one of those which has grown with 
astonishing rapidity, is Barroiv-in-Fumess, near the southern extremity of the 
Cumbrian peninsula, and at the east of Walney Island, which acts as a break- 
water to its roadstead. In 1846 Barrow was a poor fishing village, but the 
discovery of pure hematite ores led to the construction of iron and steel works. 
Ship-building yards followed, jute-mills were established, and the small village 
rapidly grew into a prosperous town, with docks which admit the largest vessels 
at any state of the tide. Dalton, a few miles to the north of Barrow, lies in the 
heart of the hematite iron district. Broiighton is a quiet town at the head of the 
estuary of the Duddon, famous for trout and salmon. Farther inland, in the Lake 
district, are Coniston, delightfully situate at the head of Coniston Water and at the 
foot of the Old Man, with copper mines and slate quarries near it, and Hawkshead, 
a quaint market town at the head- of Esthwaite Water. Archbishop Sandys and 
Wordsworth were educated at its grammar school. 

Cartmel, in the eastern portion of Furness, has a famous priory church. Holker 
HaU, a mansion of the Duke of Devonshire, lies in its neighbourhood. 




CHAPTER XI. 

THE NORTH OF ENGLAND, THE CUMBRIAN MOUNTAINS, THE BASINS OF THE 
EDEN, THE TEES, AND THE TYNE. 

(Cumberland, Westmoreland, Durham, and Northumberland.) 




General Features. 

HAT part of England whicli lies to the north of the estuary of the 
Tees and Morecarabe Bay forms a distinct geographical region of 
transition, which connects the south of the island with North 
Britain. The mountainous peninsula of Cumbria is still bounded 
by another gulf in the north, namely, the Solway Firth, which 
penetrates into the land to within 60 miles of the German Ocean. The 
tidal currents which ascend the rivers falling on the one hand into the Irish 
Sea, and on the other into the German Ocean, approach within 50 miles of each 
other. 

The Pennine chain, which begins to the north of Derby, and bounds the 
basins of the Trent and Ouse on the west, separates farther north the basin of 
the Eden from that of the Tees, and finally coalesces with the Cheviot Hills 
on the Scotch frontier. The highest summit of the entire chain, the Cross Fell 
(2,928 feet), rises in this northern portion. But the Silurian and granitic moun- 
tains, which are attached to the " backbone " of England by a transversal ridge 
of moderate elevation, are more lofty still. When the weather is favourable the 
traveller who climbs these, the proudest mountains of all England, sees spread 
beneath him nearly the whole of the Irish Sea, together with the hills that 
bound it. Whilst ascending them he successively passes through difierent 
zones or climates. Starting from the smiling country, abounding in orchards, 
at their foot, he traverses the pine woods which clothe their lower slopes, and 
finally emerges upon the fells, which yield nought but ling and bracken. The 
topmost summits are clad with verdure only during summer and autumn, for 
in winter and spring they are either covered with snow, or their scant vegeta- 
tion is tinged a russet brown by the frost. As they face the moisture-laden 
south-westerly winds, the amount of precipitation is enormous, averaging about 
80 inches a year, and even reaching 16 feet in some localities, where the clouds are 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 

entrapped in hollows on the mountain sides, from which they cannot escape. 
Torrent rains and violent snow-storms are phenomena of ordinary occurrence, 
and in the depth of winter it is often impossible to ascend the highest summits. 

Fig. 138.— Hypsographical Map of thb Cumbrian Mountains. 
Scale 1 : 634,000. 




3° W. of Gr. 



Foreshore. 



Sea-level to 
600 Feet. 



600 to 1,200 
Feet. 



Over 1,200 
Feet. 



10 Miles. 



The boldest shepherds have refused at times to climb the mountain-tops in order 
to consult the rain gauges which have been placed upon them.* 

* J. Fletcher Miller, Philosophical Transactions, 1851. 



THE NOETH OF ENGLAND. 



281 



The torrents which run down the impermeable sides of these craggy moun- 
tains are the feeders of lakes which occupy deep cavities, reaching in several 
instances below the level of the sea. A slight subsidence of the land would 
convert these lakes into lochs or firths, such as we see at the present day along 
the coast of Scotland, and it is the opinion of geologists that previously to the 
last upheaval of the land they actually were firths, and ramified in the same 
manner as Morecambe Bay does to the present day. But it is not their geological 
genesis which renders these lakes so great an attraction. They are one of the 
glories of England not only because they are filled with translucent water, 
reflecting the islets which stud and the crags which enclose them, and are fringed 
with rich meadow lands backed by woods, but also because of their association 
with the poets who have sung their beauties. The lakes of Cumberland have 



Fig. 139.— The Cumbrian Mountains. 
Scale 1 : 700,000. 




Depth under 5 J 
Fathoms. 



Over 11 
Fathomg. 

10 Miles. 



given birth to a literary *' school," that of the Lakists, which, like all schools, 
includes, by the side of true poets who have given expression to that which they 
felt, a crowd of tedious imitators, who merely look to the verses of their predecessors 
for a revelation of nature. The names of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, De 
Quincey, and Martineau will for ever remain associated with Windermere, 
Grasmere, Thirlemere, Derwentwater, and UUeswater. All these lakes are drained 
by rivers, either into the Eden or Derwent, or direct into the sea, for precipita- 
tion is far in excess of evaporation. Manufactories have not yet sprung up on 
their banks and defiled their water, but the artists who have settled down 
in the district, and the devout visitors who explore the scenery described in the 
verses of their favourite poets, may not be able much longer to defend them 
against avaricious speculators. Already factories have been established in the 
115 — E 



282 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

towns which surround the district, and they are gradually extending into the 
interior of the country. 

The coal measures which extend along the coast to the south of the Solway Firth 
are of considerable importance. At some former epoch the carboniferous forma- 
tion covered the whole of the Pennine range, and extended from the shores of the 
German Ocean to the Irish Sea ; but, owing to the displacement of strata and the 
action of denudation, there are now two separate basins, viz. that of Cumberland^ 
and that of Durham and Northumberland. The Cumbrian coal mines are somewhat 
famous on account of their submarine galleries. At Whitehaven the levels driven 
by the miners extend for a distance of nearly 2 miles off the shore, and lie at a 
depth of 650 feet beneath the level of the sea ; and the entire network of submarine 
galleries and levels has a length of several hundred miles. The roof which 
intervenes between the miners and the floor of the ocean varies in thickness 
between 230 and 720 feet, and is amply sufficient to preclude every idea of 
danger. Still the water of the ocean occasionally finds its way through fissures 
into the mines, but in most instances the miners succeed in calking the leaky 
places. The mine of Workington, however, which extended for 5,000 feet beneath 
the sea, had a roof too feeble to resist the pressure of the superincumbent waters. 
On the 30th of June, 1837, it suddenly gave way, the mine was inundated, and the 
miners barely escaped the flood which pursued them. One of these galleries 
actually extends for a distance of 9,604 feet beneath the sea. The quantity of 
workable coal still contained in these submarine seams is estimated to amount to 
100,000,000 tons.* 

The coal-field of Durham and Northumberland, which is traversed at intervals 
by parallel dykes of basalt, is more actively worked than any other in Europe 
It yields double the quantity of coal produced by all France, and is the principal 
source of supply for the metropolis. Four collieries in the environs of Durham 
supply each 1,500,000 tons of fuel annually, and the nine principal seams now 
being worked in the basins of the Tees and Tyne still contain at least eight or ten 
milliards of tons of coal within easy reach — a quantity sufficient to last for 
centuries at the present rate of working. The ^oal beds extend far beneath the 
sea ; and statisticians, in calculating the supply of the future, have assumed that all 
the coal within 4 miles of the coast can be got at.f The collieries, and in the 
valley of the Tees the iron mines, have attracted a considerable population. The 
towns press upon each other, the roadsteads and quays are crowded with shipping, 
and even in England there are not many districts in which industry has achieved 
such wonders. 

Yet for many centuries this was one of the poorest and least-peopled districts 
of Great Britain — a district of permanent warfare and unexpected border raids, 
where even in time of peace the inhabitants were obliged to be on their guard. 
The fact that the great historical highway between England and Scotland passes 
along the eastern foot of the Pennine range and the Cheviot Hills sufficiently 

* Smyth ; Hull, " Coal Fields of Great Britain." 
t Ramsay ; Eliot ; Forster ; Hull. 



THE NORTH OF ENGLAND. 



283 



accounts for this state of affairs. The country to the west of that great road was 
too rugged and too rich in natural obstacles to be adapted to the movement of 
armies. The war-path consequently lay on the eastern slope, and the region 
through which it passed was frequently laid waste. Extensive tracts of territory 
remained altogether unoccupied : they were " marches," similar to those which in 
another part of Europe separated Avares from Germans, and Slavs from Russians. 
Extensive heaths still recall the time when the twp kingdoms were almost 
perpetually engaged in war, and the old buildings which we meet with in the 
country districts are constructed so as to be able to sustain a siege. The nearer we 
approach the Scotch border, the more numerous are these towers of defence. Not 
only the castles of the great lords, but also the simple homesteads of the farmers, 
churches, and monasteries, were fortified. Many of the castles could be entered 
only by means of ladders, so great was the fear of their inhabitants of a surprise. 
Buildings of this kind existed during the Middle Ages in nearly every country 
frequently ravaged by war. The most southern of these towers of defence stood 



Fig, 140.— Hadrian's Wall. 
According to C. Rnice. Scale 1 : 900,000. 







5' 


Zmrna.! 


^ 


55: 






5- 


W.ofG 



10 Miles. 



on the northern frontier of Yorkshire, on the southern bank of the Tees, and it 
was only at such a distance from the Scotch border that the inhabitants felt secure 
from unexpected attacks.* 

The fortunes of war have caused the frontiers between the two kingdoms to 
oscillate. The actual boundary has of course been drawn at the dictation of the 
state which disposed of the most powerful armies. Commencing at the Solway 
Firth, it climbs the crest of the Cheviot Hills, but instead of being drawn from 
their eastern extremity to the nearest headland on the coast, it abruptly turns to 
the north, and follows the course of the Lower Tees. The most natural boundary 
is that which the Romans laid down when they constructed the wall which 
extends from the Solway Firth to the mouth of the Tyne, to serve as a second 
line of defence to the provinces they held. This wall, built by the Emperor 
Hadrian, and accompanied throughout by a military road, was still in a fair 
state of preservation towards the close of the sixteenth century, but in our own 



* Yorkshire, Edinburgh Review, vol. cxxiii. 



284 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

days is limited to a few blocks of masonry, some of them 10 feet in height. In 
its eastern portion, where the country, owing to the incessant wars of the Middle 
Ages, no less than because of its natural sterility, has only recently been peopled, 
the wall can still be traced ; but not so in the west, where the ploughshare has 
almost obliterated it, so that it was not even easy to ascertain the sites of the 
Eoman stations.* In certain localities, however, the ancient ditch, now over- 
grown with grass upon which sheep browse, may still be seen. Two piers of a 
bridge over the Northern Tyne are the principal ruins remaining of this ancient 
work. Excavations have furnished antiquaries with medals and numerous inscrip- 
tions, which have thrown much light upon the history of Great Britain whilst 
under the dominion of the Romans. f Hadrian's wall was from 6 to 10 feet thick, 
and averaged 18 feet in height. A ditch, 36 feet wide and over 12 feet in depth, 
extended along its northern side, whilst a narrower ditch, with entrenchments, 
accompanied it on the south. Fortresses, stations, and posts succeeded each other 
at short intervals. The wall terminates in the east close to the town of Wallsend, 
in the centre of the coal basin of the Tyne. 

The inhabitants of Northumberland, whose country has so frequently been a 
bone of contention between Scotch and English, resemble their northern neighbours 
in customs and language, and in the people, no less than in the aspect of the 
country, do we perceive the transition between south and north. In the west, on 
the other hand, the contrast is very great. The Cumbrians remained independent 
for a considerable period, and, sheltered by their mountains, were able to maintain 
their ancient customs. Even after the Norman conquest they talked a Celtic 
tongue differing but little from that of the Welsh. Some of the noble families 
of the country boast of their pure Saxon descent, and look down upon the less 
ancient nobility of Norman creation. Amongst the peasants there were, and are 
still, a considerable number of freeholders, or " statesmen," who have cultivated 
the land they hold for generations past.+ These men were distinguished, above all 
others, by their noble bearing, the dignity of their language, and the proud inde- 
pendence of their conduct. Their number, however, has greatly diminished, for 
the large proprietors are gradually absorbing the smaller estates. 

Topography. 

Westmoreland, the smallest of these northern counties, is divided by the valley 
of the Eden into two mountain districts, of which the eastern embraces some of 
the most forbidding moors of the Pennine chain, whilst the western includes the 
high peaks and deep ravines of a portion of the Cumbrian group. Within this 
latter rises Helvellyn (8,118 feet), the second highest of the English mountains, 
and two large lakes, the UUeswater and the Windermere, add to its attractions. A 
range of lower moorlands binds together these mountain districts. To the south of 
this range, which is crossed by the Pass of Shap Fell, the rivers Kent and Lune 

* Thomas Wright, " The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon." 

t Collingwood Bruce, " The Roman Wall, Barrier of the Lower Isthmus." 

t Wordsworth ; Emerson, " English Traits." 



WESTMOEELAND. 



285 



drain an important district of the county into Morecambe Bay. The moist climate 
is more favourable to cattle-breeding than to agriculture. The mineral products 
include lead, a little copper and iron, beautiful marble, and roofing slate. The 
manufactures are on a small scale. 

Kendal, the only large town of the county, stands on the declivity of a hill 
near the banks of the river Kent, which flows into Morecambe Bay at Milnthorpe, 
the only seaport. It is a prosperous place, with various scientific institutions, 
and the ruins of a castle in which Catherine Parr 'was born. The woollen 
industry introduced by Flemish weavers in the fourteenth century still flourishes, 
and, in addition to cloth, there are manufactures of linseys, carpets, fancy 
stuffs, combs, fish-hooks, and clogs. But that which has made its reputation 
is the beautiful country in which it is situate. The river Kent, after which 
the town is named, rises in a small lake, the Kentmere ; but the lake in this 

Fig. 141.— The Head of Windekmere. 




neighbourhood most sought after is the Windermere. Buwness and Ambleside , 
on its shore, are villages of hotels, affording ample accommodation to the 
crowds of tourists who visit them. Even more romantic are the environs of 
Grasmere, at the head of a small lake which drains into Windermere, and in the 
midst of the most impressive mountain scenery. Wordsworth lived at the 
neighbouring hamlet of Rydal, and he and Coleridge are buried in the churchyard 
of St. Oswald. 

Kirkhy Lonsdale, in the fertile valley of the Lune, is the only other place of 
note in the southern portion of the county. Carpets and blankets are manu- 
factured, and marble is quarried there. 

Ajyplehy, beautifully situated on the river Eden, is the principal town in the 
northern part of the county, and its capital. It is very ancient, dating back to 
the Eoman age, but has dwindled down into a small country town, with an old 



286 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

castle crowning a wooded eminence beside it. The grammar school was founded 
by Queen Elizabeth. The manufacture of woollens is carried on to a limited 
extent. Other towns on the Eden are Brough-under-Stainmore, an old Roman 
station in Watling Street, and Kirhhy Stephen, within easy access of the moors 
and hence much frequented by sporting-men. Quarries and mines are near both 
these places. Shap, a straggling village almost in the centre of the county, and 
at the foot of the Shap Fells, has slate and other quarries. Clifton is a village on 
the northern border, near which took place the conflict of Clifton Moor in 1745. 
Lowther and Brougham Castles are in its vicinity, the latter at one time one of 
the most formidable of frontier fortresses. 

Cumberland extends from the desolate moorlands of the Pennine chain to the 
Irish Sea in the west, and includes within its borders the highest mountains of 
England* and most of the English lakes. A broad and passably fertile plain, 
traversed by the Lower Eden, separates the moorlands from the Cumbrian Hills, 
and in this plain grew up the principal towns until the discovery of coal shifted 
the centre of population to the westward. Besides coal and iron, the mines 
and quarries yield lead, plumbago, silver, zinc, slate, marble, and various other 
building stones. The cotton factories, iron works, foundries, and machine shops 
are of considerable importance. Here, as in the neighbouring county of West- 
moreland, a large portion of the land is the property of ** statesmen," or "lairds." 

Carlisle, the chief town of the county, occupies a fine position on the Lower 
Eden, about 8 miles above its mouth into Morecambe Bay. After having been a 
Roman station — Luguvallum — Carlisle, under the name of Caer-leol, became a 
Saxon city, and according to the legends it was a favourite residence of King 
Arthur. During the Middle Ages, and even as recently as the eighteenth century, 
when the last effort was made to restore the Stuarts, Carlisle, owing to its position 
on the Scotch border and on a navigable river, was a place of very great strategical 
importance. The castle occupies an eminence overlooking the river Eden, and has 
been extensively altered ; but the keep, built by William Rufus, remains to the 
present day. The cathedral is the most interesting building of the town, but it is 
small. Carlisle manufactures cottons, ginghams, and hats ; but its biscuit bakeries, 
despite their extent, are not equal in productiveness to the single manufactory at 
Reading. A navigable canal and a railway join the old border fortress to Port 
Carlisle, on Morecambe Bay, which is spanned here by a formidable railway 
viaduct. 

Penrith, in the fertile valley of the Eamont (which comes from the UUeswater, 
and flows to the river Eden), and on the borders of Ingle wood Forest, has its ruined 
castle, like most other towns in this border county. Brampton is an old town on 
the river Irthing, which joins the Eden near Carlisle. It has cotton factories and 
collieries. Near it are Naworth Castle and the ruins of Lanercost Abbey. 
Higher up in the rocky valley of the Irthing, and close to the Northumberland 
border, is Gilsland Spa, with its sulphuric and chalybeate springs. 

We now turn westward towards the coast. Holme Cultram, at the mouth of the 

♦ Sea Fell, 3,230 feet ; Helvellyn, on the Westmoreland border, 3,118 feet; Skiddaw, 3,058 feet. 



CUMBERLAND. 



287 



Waver, is remarkable for its old abbey church. Allonby enjoys some favour as a 
watering-place. Maryport is one of the coal-shipping towns of Cumberland, at the 
mouth of the Eller, with a harbour enclosed between two piers. Cottons and lead 
pencils are manufactured, and ships built. The coal mines, upon which the town 
mainly depends for its prosperity, lie at Dearham, a couple of miles inland. Work- 
ington, another coal- shipping port, is at the mouth of the Derwent. Whitehaven is 

Fig. 142. - Screes at Wastwateu, Cumhehland. 




more important than either of the above, and besides shipping immense quantities 
of coal and iron ore, engages in the manufacture of iron, canvas, cottons, ropes, 
and other articles. The coal mines extend under the sea. Much of the coal shipped 
from Whitehaven is brought from the colliery town of Cleaton 3Ioor, whilst I^gre- 
mont, a few miles to the south, supplies hematite iron ores. During the American 
War of Independence in 1778, Paul Jones, the famous privateer, had the audacity 
to land at Whitehaven, where he spiked the guns and set fire to two English ships 



288 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



which he found in the harbour. St. Bees, an interesting old village to the south 
of Whitehaven, is widely known as the seat of a college for the training of Church 
of England clergymen. Ravenglass, on a shallow bay into which the Esk and the 
Irt (the latter the emissary of Wastwater) discharge themselves, engages in oyster- 
fishing and the coasting trade. It is a quiet place, whilst Millom, on the estuary 
of the Duddon, rings with the noise of iron and steel works. 

We now enter that portion of the county which is so famed for its scenery, 
and the capital of which is Kesicick. Situate in a beautiful vale under Skiddaw, 
and near the foot of Der went water, one of the most charming lakes, Keswick 



Fig. 143. — The Falls of Lodore. 




*^^^^-^^-^^ /5^ 'Z'-*^ 



has naturally become the principal head-quarters for tourists. Amongst the spots 
most frequently visited are the Falls of Lodore, near the head of the lake, 
immortalised by Southey's well-known lines commencing — 
" How does the water come down at Lodore ?" 
Greta Hall, where Southey lived from 1803 till the time of his death, stands near 
Keswick. The Upper Derwent, in its course to Derwentwater, flows through the 
beautiful valley of Borrowdale, which formeidy, before the mines in Siberia had 
been discovered, supplied the best '• wadd," or plumbago, for the manufacture 



DUEHAM. 289 

of lead pencils. The Bowder Stone — a huge erratic block, weighing 2,000 tons— 
lies at the entrance to this valley. 

The Derwent, below Keswick, flows through Bassenthwaite Water, and then 
enters the manufacturing town of Cockermouth, prettily situated at its confluence 
with the Cocker. There are cotton, woollen, and paper mills. The ruins of 
the castle, dismantled in 1648, are very extensive. Cockermouth was the birthplace 
of Wordsworth. 

The only towns which remain to be noticed are Wilton, 10 miles to the south 
of Carlisle, which has a Quakers' Academy, and Alston, in the extreme east of the 
county, on the Southern Tyne, which belongs geographically to Northumber- 
land, and is known for its lead mines, the property of Greenwich Hospital. 

Durham, bounded on the south by the Tees, and on the north by the Tyne and 
its tributary Derwent, is traversed in its centre by the Wear. It is occupied to 
a large extent by heathy moorlands, but the valleys and the south-eastern portion 
of the county are fertile. This deficiency of cultivable land is, however, amplv 
compensated for by the mineral treasures buried in the soil. The western moun- 
tainous part of the county is rich in lead, whilst its centre is occupied by a 
broad band of coal measures extending from the Lower Tyne to the Tees. Agri- 
culture is carried on with much spirit. The Teeswater variety of short-horned 
cattle is one of the best in the kingdom, and the native sheep are large, and 
produce fine combing fleeces. The manufactures are various, but every other 
branch of industry is dwarfed by huge iron works, busy machine factories, and 
noisy ship-yards for the construction of iron vessels. 

The Tees rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell, the giant of the Pennine 
Mountains, and some of its upper valleys are deservedly renowned for picturesque 
scenery Soon after entering Durham the river expands into a narrow lake, 
bordered by sterile moorlands, and then rushes down in a series of wild cataracts, 
known as the Caldron Spout. A few miles lower it forms the High Force (50 feet), 
the finest waterfall in Eastern England. It passes Middleton-in-Teesdaley near 
which are lead-mills, and then washes the foot of the declivity upon which stands 
the ancient city of Barnard Castle. The castle, now in ruins, was built 1112-32 
by Bernard Baliol, and was at one time a stronghold of considerable importance. 
Close to it rise the modern museum and picture gallery, the contents of which are 
for the most part the gift of the owner of the neighbouring Streatham Castle. 
The town has a few manufactures, but it is only when we reach Darlington and 
Stockton, on the Lower Tees, that we enter one of the great industrial districts of 
Northern England. Darlington, on the Skerne, a few miles above its confluence 
with the Tees, is one of the principal seats of the Quakers, whose influence there 
is considerable. The town lies in a fertile country, and is one of the busiest 
manufacturing centres of the north. There are factories for building locomotives, 
blast furnaces, and rolling-mills — Durham supplying the coal; the Cleveland Hills, 
on the Yorkshire side of the Tees, the iron and iron ore. The railroad which joins 
Darlington to Stockton-on-Tees is the oldest in the world, having been opened in 
1825, or four years before railway communication was established between Liverpool 



290 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



and Manchester. Stockton, 4 miles above the mouth of the Tees, is joined by a 
bridge to South Stockton, in Yorkshire, and has iron works, ship-yards, sail-cloth 
factories, and glass houses. Near Stockton are the village of BilUngham, with 
an old Norman church, and Wynyard, the Grecian mansion of the Earl of 
Lonsdale. Port Clarence, at the mouth of the river, has iron works, and exports 
much coal. The Bay of the Tees is much cumbered with sand-banks, but its 
navigation is rendered safe by lights, buoys, and embankments. 

Turning north from it, we pass the pretty bathing-place of Seaton Carew, with 
beautiful sands and the remains of a submerged forest, and reach Hartlepool, 
proudly seated upon a bold promontory, whence we overlook a wide expanse of 
the sea and wild country backed by the Yorkshire hills. An opulent city in the 



Fig. 144.— Hartlepool. 
Scale 1 : 85,000. 




no 



Depth under 5 
Fathoms. 




1 Mile. 



time of the early Norman kings, Hartlepool in course of time fell from its high 
estate, and at the beginning of the present century had hardly 1,000 inhabitants. 
The leading place in the commercial movements of England, which it has taken since 
1832, is wholly due to the opening of coal mines in its vicinity, and to the construc- 
tion of docks, quays, and warehouses. The present town of Hartlepool is altogether a 
creation of modern times. Its docks, accessible to vessels drawing 26 feet of water, 
partly occupy an ancient inlet of the sea, and quite a new town, West Hartlepool, 
has sprung up to the south of them. Hartlepool imports corn, flour, timber, and 
live animals, and exports in return coal and the produce of its iron and engineering 
works. Ship-building is actively carried on. Throston is a small town to the 
westward, and almost a suburb of Hartlepool. 



DURHAM. 291 

The only place of note along the rather tame coast between Hartlepool and 
Sunderland is Seaham, near which are important collieries. 

The river Wear, with all its tributaries, lies wholly within the county of Durham. 
Rising near the Kilhope Law, it first flows through the weird and picturesque 
Weardale, and then, forcing itself a passage through a succession of gorges, finds 
its way to the German Ocean. Castles and parks are numerous along its banks, 
and alternate with collieries and iron works, but notwithstanding manufactories 
and the unsightly heaps of slags, its valley still remains the Arcadia of England. 
Stanhope, in the upper part of the valley, depends upon the lead mines and 
quarries in its neighbourhood. On reaching Wolsingham we first enter the coal 
and iron region. All around it, as well as about Toiclaw, to the north-east of it, 
coal, iron, and limestone are found in abundance. Bishop Auckland, prettily 
seated on a hill, has an old castle, one of the manorial residences of the ancient 
Bishops of Durham, standing in the midst of an extensive park. The bridge 
which spans the river at this town was built upon Roman foundations by Bishop 
Skirlaw in 1388. Collieries and iron works abound in the vicinity of Auckland, 
one of their principal centres being Spenny Moor, to the north-east. The Wear 
here abruptly turns to the northward and penetrates a narrow gorge, formerly 
defended by the Roman station of Vinovium, upon the site of which stands the 
village of Binchester. 

On leaving the gorge the river once more winds between gentle hills until it 
approaches the bold promontory upon the summit of which rise proudly the Norman 
cathedral and the keep of the castle built by William the Conqueror, and which 
subsequently became the residence of the bishops. Since 1833 the castle has been 
occupied by a university, which Cromwell intended to establish, and which owes its 
origin to the enormous increase in the revenues of Durham Cathedral, mainly 
derived from collieries. The University of Durham enjoys the same privileges as 
Oxford and Cambridge. It possesses a library rich in precious manuscripts, a 
museum, and an observatory, and students are able to pursue their studies at a far less 
expense than either at Oxford or Cambridge. Notwithstanding this the university 
is very little frequented, and this appears to be owing to the servility with 
which the mechanical routine followed at the older universities has been copied. 
The organization of the University of Durham is altogether under the direction 
of the clergy, and the chapter of the cathedral virtually governs it.* 

Durham has carpet and woollen manufactories and iron works. Collieries 
are numerous in its vicinity. A few miles to the west of it stand the remains of 
Neville's Cross, where the '* Battle of the Red Hills" was fought in 1346. Some 
of the weapons used on that occasion are preserved at the ancient castle of the 
Nevilles at Brancepeth, to the south. Ascending the valley of the Browney, 
which joins the Wear above Durham, we pass TJshaw College, a Roman Catholic 
seminary founded in 1808 on a bleak and barren hill, and finally reach the small 
colliery town of Lancheater, near which are extensive remains of the Roman 
station of Epideum. 

* Demogeot et Montucci, " De rEuseignement superieur en Angleterre et en Ecosse." 



292 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Chester-le- Street, on the Wear below Durham, is supposed to have been the 
Condercum of the Romans. A pleasant country town formerly, it has expanded 



Fig. 145. — The Durham Coast between Sunderland and the Tyne. 
From an Admiralty Chart. Scale 1 : 120,000. 



'Tf ' '^_/? vf^-^ 8'"- ^ 




' ' 6 U 



R'f 




IS 19 

3 



25 









-••? BolJoti \ 




7 7 la ,s 



11 



to 



loqharh. 



'' •* a . a ^ Q. T tC -To/5 r*t 1 



'..,,. Carrr^ " Wl 83 23 



J6' V^' 



i.': Whitburn StiU « 
2 .V' • 7 \ 9 H \ r 



^2i 22 



/«>' ,« «^ 



e.blk.spk 



: J U ». 1' t LV K Rujrvtn'^lSlcbb f/yii J3 * 7m. . /8 



WKi^ i'\i* f3i(iSifWhtUL Stones ,„ 'fi \ .. V" 



,y /Jj^ gl^fH^ite. 









-IT;; -^-^ 7 „ r» 1/ .. 
















Miles. 



into a place of collieries and iron works like its neighbour, Jlougkton-le- Spring, to 
the eastward. 



NOETHUMBERLAND. 293 

The mouth of the Wear is occupied on both sides by the great city of Sunder- 
Id^d — which consists of Sunderland proper ; Bishop Wearmouth, on the south bank; 
and Monkwearmouth and Southwick, on the north bank of the river — and is only 
inferior to Newcastle as a coal-shipping port. Its vast docks and the river are 
at all times crowded with vessels, and only London, Liverpool, and the Tyne 
ports surpass it in the amount of their shipping. Formerly Sunderland pointed 
with pride to its iron bridge, which spans the river Wear in one stupendous arch 
of 237 feet, and at a height of 100 feet above the water ; but constructions of this kind 
have become numerous in an age of railways. Far more singular is the lighthouse 
on the southern pier, which, notwithstanding its weight of 338 tons, was moved 
bodily a distance of 300 feet. Sunderland is an important manufacturing town. 
The ship-yards employ several thousand workmen, and there are glass houses, 
machine factories, iron-mills, and foundries. 

The coast between Sunderland and the Tyne presents some striking scenery. 
At Roker curious caverns abound in the limestone rock, and to the north of the 
cheerful watering-place of Whitburn are the wild and striking Marsden Rocks, one 
of them forming an archway beneath which boats can pass. 

The valley of the Derwent, which joins the Tyne above Newcastle, is rich in 
collieries and iron works. The principal towns within its basin are Consett, 
Benfielddde (opposite Shotley Bridge), on the Northumberland side of the river, 
and Leadgate. The Tyne bounds the county on the north ; but though it forms 
a civil boundary, the towns on both banks are engaged in the same industries, and 
may all of them be looked upon as dependencies of Newcastle. Passing the 
colliery towns of Ryton and Blaydon, the Tyne flows between Newcastle and its 
southern suburb Gateshead, with machine factories, chemical works, iron foundries, 
and glass houses. Felling is passed below Gateshead, and then we reach Jarroic^ 
a large town with docks, ship-yards, chemical works, and paper-mills, interesting 
as the scene of the labours of the Venerable Bede, who was born at the neighbouring 
village of Monkton. South Shields, at the mouth of the Tees, connected by a 
steam ferry with North Shields, on the opposite side of the river, has ship-yards 
and other industrial establishments, and exports large quantities of coal. The 
"ballast hills " near the town are interesting to botanists, for many exotic plants 
grow upon them from seed carried thither in the ballast discharged from vessels 
coming from foreign parts. 

Northumberland, the northernmost county of England, extends along the 
German Ocean from the Tyne to the Tweed. The entire western half of it is 
occupied by mountain moors, producing hardly anything but heath, except in 
the Cheviots, which are distinguished for their fine verdure. Agriculture is 
possible only in the narrow valleys which intersect these hills. The maritime 
portion of the county is more favourably circumstanced, and the soil, consisting 
of strong clayey loam, is for the most part very fertile. Yet in no other part of 
England have arable husbandry and stock- breeding made more progress, principally 
owing to the large size of the farms and the leases which secure to the tenants the 
full results of their labour. The great coal-field which extends across the Tyne to 



294 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



the sea-coast has materially added to the wealth of what would otherwise be a 
purely agricultural county, and given rise to important industries. Of these the 
construction of machinery, the building of iron ships, and the making and founding 
of iron take the lead, and in comparison with them the potteries, glass houses 
brass foundries, artificial manure works, and paper-mills are comparatively 
unimportant. 

Newcastle-on-Tyne, with its satellite towns, forms one of the greatest agglomera- 
tions of houses and factories in England. The Tyne between it and the sea, 8 
miles below, resembles an elongated dock rather than a river, and its quays are at 
all times crowded with shipping. Towns and groups of factories succeed each 



Fig. 146. — Sunderland, Newcastle, and the Mouth of the Tyne, 
Scale 1 : 250,000. 




5 to 11 

Fathoms 



11 to 22 

Fathoms 



Over 22 
Fathoms. 



2 Miles. 



other in rapid succession along both banks of the river, and at night their flaring 
furnaces present a scene of uncanny grandeur. Opposite Newcastle, as already 
remarked, lies Gateshead; then come the houses of Felling, likewise on the 
Durham bank ; whilst the opposite shore is lined by the alkali and vitriol works of 
Walker. A bend in the river brings us within sight of Willmgton Quay, where 
the Eoman Segedunum stood formerly, and of Walkend, at the eastern extremity 
of the Roman wall. Howden Pans comes next, with ship-yards and tar and varnish 
factories. Near it, at Hayhole, are the Northumberland Docks, and beyond these 
we reach North Shields, a great coal-shipping port, also largely engaged in ship- 
building, anchor forging, and the making of pottery. Tynemouth rises at the very 
mouth of the Tyne, and though enclosed with Shields within the same municipal 



NOETHUMBEELAND. 295 

boundary, it is a separate town, aspiring to be called the " Brighton of the North." 
The promontory upon which it rises is crowned with an old castle, now converted 
into barracks, and the ruins of a priory, and affords a wide view of the sea. 

Netccastle, on the northern bank of the Tyne, is supposed to be the modern 
representative of the Roman Pons ^lii, and remained a military town through- 
out the Middle Ages, of which fact the keep of its castle, built by Robert 
Shorthose, and portions of the city walls remind us. It was frequently besieged, 
and often changed hands between Scotch and English, according to the fortunes 
of war. The old town, around its Nortnan keep and the venerable church of St. 
Nicholas, whose spire is carried aloft by four flying buttresses, has retained 
narrow winding streets, but the new town on the hills has wide streets and many 
houses built of limestone or Scotch granite. At the head of its finest street rises a 
column surmounted by a statue of Earl Grey. The high-level bridge, which crosses 
the valley of the Tyne at a height of 110 feet, and is 1,327 feet in length, is the most 
stupendous monument of Newcastle. It is one of the great works of Robert Stephen- 
son, whose colossal statue stands in front of the railway station. The Wood Memorial 
Hall contains the collections of the Literary and Philosophical Society and of the 
Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, and the " keep " has been con- 
verted into a museum of Roman and British antiquities. But that which most 
strikes the visitor to the metropolis of coal is its machine factories, potteries, 
chemical works, and foundries, and the intense activity of its port. The Armstrong 
gun foundry at Elswick occupies nearly a whole suburb to the west of the town, 
and rivals in importance the great Government works at Woolwich. Though its 
resources have been little called upon by the military authorities of England, 
foreign Governments have freely availed themselves of them, and Elswick, between 
1856 and 1876, has supplied to them over 4,000 pieces of ordnance of nearly every 
pattern now in use. 

The spectacle presented by the river port below Newcastle is full of animation. 
On all sides we perceive long strings of vessels moored to the shore, beneath high 
scaffoldings, to the very extremity of which travel the railway trucks laden with 
coal, there to be tilted up, so that their contents may discharge themselves into 
the hold of the vessels lying below. In the course of four hours a steamer of 
1,200 tons burden has taken in its full cargo of coal. Thirty-three hours after- 
wards it arrives at London, where ten hours are occupied in unloading it. Another 
thirty -four hours and the steamer is back at Newcastle, ready for another cargo. 
Thus in three days and six hours the whole of this commercial transaction is 
completed. The application of steam to machinery, and the great improvements of 
the mechanical arrangements for loading vessels which have been made since the 
middle of the century, have vastly benefited the coal merchants of Newcastle. A 
steamer with a crew of 21 men now carries as large a quantity of coal in the 
course of a year as was formerly done by 16 sailing colliers manned by 144 men. 

In good seasons the ports of the Tyne export close upon 6,000,000 tons of 
coal, and their commerce, whilst much inferior to that of Liverpool or London, 
surpasses that of every continental port, including even Hamburg, Antwerp, and 



296 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

Marseilles. Sometimes 300 colliers leave the Tyiie on tlie same tide. But in 
order to develop this immense traffic, Newcastle has been compelled to expend large 
sums in improvements of every description. It maintains more than 250 tugs on the 
Tyne, as well as numerous pilot-boats off the mouth of the river. Formerly the 
mouth of the Tyne was obstructed by a bar, and up to 1849 vessels drawing over 
6 feet of water were unable to enter. But dredges were set to work, and not only 
has a dept"h of 26 feet been secured at low water, but the scour of the river has 
swept away many sand-banks, and the strong tidal current which now ascends 
the river has revived the salmon fisheries, which the poisonous streams discharged 
by numerous factories had nearly killed. The mouth of no other river, not even 
excepting that of the Clyde, has been adapted with greater success to the require- 
ments of navigation. 

Ascending the river Tyne above Newcastle, we pass the village of Wylam, where 
George Stephenson was born, and reach Hexham, a quaint old town below the con- 
fluence of the South and North Tyne, with a fine old abbey church, a grammar 
school, and a little industry. The South Tyne, though rich in picturesque scenery, 
is poor in population. Allendale, in a side valley, has lead mines ; Haltwistle is but 
a poor place ; and Alston, with its productive lead mines, though geographically 
within the county, belongs politically to Cumberland (see p. 289). 

Far more interesting is the small town of Bellingham, on the North Tyne. 
Its environs abound in square camps, and a few miles to the north of it was fought 
the battle of Otterhurn (1388), supposed to be referred to in the famous ballad of 
** Chevy Chase." 

Returning to Tynemouth and proceeding northward along the coast, we pass 
the fishing village of Cullercoats ; Hartley, well known for its excellent coal ; and 
Blyth, a watering-place no less than a coal-shipping port. Cowpen, near it, has 
collieries, as have also Cramlington and Seghill, situated a few miles inland, but 
Bedlington is the great mining centre of the district. 

Morpeth is a quaint old town on the Wansbeck, with the remains of a castle. 
A little flannel is woven, and collieries are worked in its vicinity. These are 
nearly the last met with in the north of England, and the beautiful valley of the 
Coquet is wholly devoted to agriculture. Rothbury, its chief market town, is 
inferior in population to the busy hives in the manufacturing and mining districts, 
but yields to none in the beauty of its environs. Old camps abound in its vicinity, 
and about a mile to the west is a peel tower, one of many which formerly 
defended the Scottish borders.* Warkuorth, a village at the mouth of the Coquet, 
is remarkable for the noble ruins of one of the strongholds of the Percys. 

Alnwick, on the Aln, 4 miles above its mouth at the bathing village of Aln- 
mouth, is a quaint old town under the modernised castle of the Duke of Northum- 
berland. This castle contains valuable paintings and collections of various kinds, and 
the park which surrounds it forms one of the great attractions of the neighbourhood. 

The coast of Northumberland, to the north of the Aln and as far as Budle 
Bay, is bounded by limestone cliffs, and at a few places by basalt. On one such 
* Peel tower, derived from pila, a stake, pillar, statue. 



NORTHUMBERLAND. ' 297 

mass of columnar basalt is perched the ancient castle of Dunstanborough, whose 
foundation dates probably back to a period anterior to that of the Romans. 
Another basaltic promontory is crowned with Bamhorough Castle, which formerly 
defended a town of importance, now represented by a small fishing village. Off 
this castle lie the basaltic Farn Islands, where seals are met with, and which 
abound in sea-birds. The largest of these islands has an old chapel and a grave- 
yard, associated with the name of St. Cuthbert ; while one of the smallest a mere 

Fig. 147.— Holy Island. 
Prom an Admiralty Chart. Scale 1 : 120,000. 






-» a 



K M 



\2i 27 



' ' " >- "' « '^ X ^ 



- ' ':•< J C o f w . c k B ay 5--^i }i€,.iJ f i2 



' ^>Vf^'^"^^ *"Nii 







isfarnj: -^/VXt t'I-'^- .d"^ .„^ ^ 

,- ♦ , O " ^t|-- ' ■ ' >" 7,7 /orA y 

M' :i,^- S- a 7 s J^fSf^^" ]lJ Z4 zs 

■ X *, 3^^ flolyl,l«dH^' * ^-'^ 9, 14 'i ^-^ ^ 

^ iA 4 .t Ska.ie Road \« . - „\ 






2 Miles. 



patch of rock rising a few feet above the water, is occupied by the Longstone Rock 
Lighthouse, the home of Grace Darling. 

A little farther north is Holp Island, famous in ecclesiastical history on account 
of its cathedral of Lindisfarne, the site of which is occupied by the ruins of a priory 
church, a miniature imitation of Durham Cathedral. 

The river Till skirts the southern and eastern foot of the Cheviot Hills, 
and enters the Tweed about 12 miles above its mouth at Berwick-on -Tweed. 
Wooler, an old market town, is the principal place in the valley of the Till. 
Humbleton, or Homildon Hill, in its neighbourhood, is crowned with a circular 

116— E 



298 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

entrenchment, and rises in the centre of the field on which Percy, Earl of North- 
umberland, defeated a Scotch army in 1402. The more famous Field of Flodden 
the scene of the crushing defeat and death of James IV., lies 8 miles to the north- 
west, not far from the Tweed. Chillingham Castle, often referred to in connection 
with its breed of wild cattle, is about 4 miles above Wooler, on the Till. 

Berwick-on-Tiveed, the old border fortress, lies at the mouth of the Tweed, and 
vessels of 500 tons burden can approach its quays. The old bastioned walls are 
still in good condition. A bridge and a stupendous railway viaduct, 2,160 feet 
in length, connect Berwick with its suburb Ttceedmouth, on the southern bank of 
the river. Spittal, much frequented for its sea baths, adjoins the latter on the 
east. Berwick has iron foundries and machine factories, and exports the salmon 
caught in the Tweed, packed in ice. This is the northernmost town in England, 
of which it has formed part only since 1482, in which year it was finally wrested 
from the Scotch. 




CHAPTER XII. 



THE I8LE OF MAN. 




HE Isle of Man lies about the centre of the Irish Sea, and within 
sight of the three constituent parts of the United Kingdom. It 
is a little nearer to Scotland than to England, but to judge by the 
formation of the sea-bottom, it forms a natural dependency of the 
county of Cumberland. The depth of the sea between Man and 
the English coast averages 100 feet, whilst in the direction of the Scotch county 
of Wigton it is at least 160 feet, and soundings of 420 feet are met with on 
voyaging towards the Irish port of Belfast. In order to determine whether the 
Isle of Man is a natural dependency of Ireland or Great Britain, Halley tells us * 
serpents and toads were carried thither. They survived, and hence it was 
concluded that Man is English, for these animals cannot live upon the soil of the 
Emerald Isle. The remains of the so-called elk, so numerous in Ireland, were 
first discovered on the Isle of Man.f 

The geographical position of the island at nearly equal distances from three 
potent centres of attraction has frequently enabled the inhabitants to maintain 
their independence, notwithstanding that they were surrounded by enemies. On 
some occasions, however, they quickly changed masters, according to the oscilla- 
tions of political power amongst their neighbours. During the early Middle Ages 
the inhabitants of Man were subjected to the influences of Ireland and Scotland. 
Subsequently the island fell under the sway of Danish pirates, and was incorporated 
into their " Kingdom of the Islands." When this kingdom was sold to the Scots 
in 1264, Man passed with it into their possession ; but some time afterwards it was 
wrested from the Scotch, and made a separate "kingdom," dependent upon 
England. Thomas, Earl of Derby, relinquished the title of King of Man, and 
took that of Lord, and since 1784 the British Government has purchased all the 
sovereign rights and privileges appertaining to the island. Man, at the present 
time, is a dependency of the British crown, unrepresented in the Imperial Parlia- 
ment. It is, in fact, a kind of colony, governed by an independent legislature. 



* "Atlas Maritimus et Commercialis," 1728. 
t George Canning, " Isle of Man." 



300 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



called the Tynwald, and consisting of two branches — the Grovernor and Council, 
and the House of Keys. The inhabitants of the island may consequently claim to 
form a state within the state. They differ, moreover, from their neighbours on the 
larger islands in their traditions, their double origin, and partly also in language. 

Fig. 148.— The Isle of Man. 
Scale 1 : 150,000, 




Depth under 11 Fathoms. 



11 to 22 Fathoms. 



22 to 33 Fathoms. 
_ 2 Miles. 



Over 33 Fathoms, 



Manx holds a middle place between Irish and Scotch Gaelic, but inclines con- 
siderably to the latter ; but it is spoken now only in some of the more remote 
districts, and altogether by hardly a fourth part of the population. All but a few 
of the oldest inhabitants understand English. Manx literature, in addition to 
religious books, includes a few ballads of the sixteenth century. The descent of the 



THE ISLE OF MAN. 301 

inhabitants is not, however, purely Celtic, for there has been a strong intermixture 
of Scandinavian blood.* 

A range of mountains of considerable elevation traverses the island from the 
south-west to the north-east, and a depression near its centre separates this 
range into two distinct masses. Standing upon the principal summit (2,004 feet), 
the whole of the Irish Sea, with the mountains that bound it, lies spread beneath 
us. This mountain still bears the Scandinavian name of Snae Fell, or Snow 
Mountain, although snow only covers it during part of the winter. Indeed, the 
climate of the Isle of Man is very temperate, though somewhat variable, and the 
number of tourists attracted by its scenery is very considerable. The larger part 
of the island is the property of yeomen, who cultivate their own small estates. 
The mountains yield lead, copper, iron, and zinc. 

Castletown, the official capital of the island, is built on a crescent-shaped bay 
near its southern extremity. Peel is the principal port on the western, as 
Ramsay is on the north-eastern coast, but Douglas is the only town of real 
importance. It stands on a well- sheltered bay on the east coast, opposite 
Liverpool, and at one extremity of the *' gap " which runs athwart the island, 
the other end being occupied by Peel. Gardens, villas, and terraces covered 
with flowers surround Douglas, and the roadstead is protected by a powerful 
breakwater. In the churchyard of Kirk Braddan, to the north-west of it, 
may still be seen a raised stone covered with dragons, carved in the twelfth 
century, and bearing a mortuary inscription in Runic letters which Miinch of 
Copenhagen was the first to decipher. So-called Druidical monuments of every 
kind are plentiful throughout the island, but there is reason to believe that some 
of them, at all events, are not older than the Middle Ages. One of the most 
curious amongst them is the monument at Tynwald, at the intersection of four 
roads, in the centre of the island. We do not know whether its origin is Celtic 
or Scandinavian, but to the present day it is put to the use for which it appears 
to have been intended, for the local laws still continue to be promulgated here 
annually in the presence of the Governor, the two " Deemsters," or Judges, the 
Council, and the " Keys." According to tradition a head Druid or kind of 
Pope of the Celtic world, officiated in the Isle of Man before the Roman epoch, 
and the faithful then flocked to it from all parts to do him homage. Man and 
Anglesey had formerly the same name, and the mediaeval lords of the island used 
the title of *' King of both the Monas." The authority of the Bishop of Sodor 
and Man is now limited to the Isle of Man ; the Sodor — Stidr eyyars ; that 
is, southern islands (when contrasted with the Orkneys) — or Hebrides, having 
been separated from his bishopric. 

* H. Jenner, "The Manx Language," Transactions of the Philological Society, 1875. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



SOUTHERN SCOTLAND. 




(Wigtown, Ayr, Kirkcudbkight, Dumfries, Roxburgh, Selkirk, Berwick, Haddington, Edinburgh, 
Linlithgow, Peebles, Lanark, Renfrew, Bute, Dumbarton, Clackmannan, Stirling, Kinross, 
Fife.) 

General Features. 

lOUTHERN Scotland, by the nature of its soil no less than with 
respect to its inhabitants, forms a well-marked geographical pro- 
vince. The far-penetrating Solway Firth and the crest of the 
Cheviot Hills very distinctly mark its southern boundary towards 
England. But the line to the north of the Clyde and the Firth 
of Forth, which is supposed to separate the Scottish Lowlands from the Highlands, 
is altogether conventional and not so well defined. It passes through the 
mountain spurs which descend towards the level country ; it separates men differing 
in race, and marks a climatic boundary. Southern Scotland, such as it has 
revealed itself in history, coincides pretty nearly with the tract of country enclosed 
within the two old Roman walls. This tract is very much inferior to the remainder 
of Scotland in area, but far surpasses it in industry and power, and contains two- 
thirds of its population. 

The contrasts between England and Scotland are manifested even in the 
geological structure of the two countries. In Northern England the geological 
formations strike north and south, and the Pennine chain runs in the same 
direction ; whilst in Scotland the geological formations, far more regular in their 
outlines, strike across the country from south-west to north-east, and from sea to 
sea. The strike is the same in the Cheviot Hills, no less than in the Carrick 
Hills, the Louther Hills, the Moorfoot and Lammermuir Hills, to the south of the 
plain extending from the Forth to the Clyde, and in the Grampians and other 
ranges of Northern Scotland. But though the mountain chains in the two portions 
of Caledonia run in the same direction, the rocks which form them are different. 
The carboniferous formation, which lies across the isthmus, contrasts with the 
more ancient mountains in Northern Scotland, and through the mineral treasures 



SOUTHEEN SCOTLAND. 808 

which it encloses, it has exercised a powerful influence upon the peopling of 
Southern Scotland, 

But even long before the working of the coal mines had attracted a crowded 
population to the plain of the Clyde, the Lowlands, owing to their mild climate, the 
fruitfulness of their soil, and the facilities for opening up communications, had 
become the seat of towns. The veritable centre of historical Scotland must be 
looked for along the line which joins the banks of the Tay to those of the Forth, 
and the inhabitants of the lateral valleys and of secondary river basins gravi- 
tated towards the towns in this central plain. A cradle of civilisation, distinct 
from those of England, sprang up of necessity in this part of Great Britain. 
That island, being very elongated in proportion to its width, and moreover 
inhabited by different races not then fused into a single nationality, naturally 
became the seat of distinct political organizations, and political unity was 
established only after prolonged struggles. The boundary between Scotland and 
England changed frequently with the fortunes of war, until it was finally fixed at 
the Solway Firth, the Cheviot Hills, and the Tweed, and there it remained until, 
through a pacific arrangement, the two countries became one. Few wars have 
been more bloody than were those waged between Scots and English, and innu- 
merable have been the occasions on which the borders were crossed with hostile 
intent. The Scotch Lowlanders, reinforced by Highland clans, frequently invaded 
Northern England, and on one occasion, in 1403, they advanced as far as Shrews- 
bury, in the valley of the Severn. The English, on their side, being more 
numerous, succeeded several times in conquering Scotland, and frequently laid 
waste the fertile fields of the isthmus. The natural advantages which that part of 
Scotland enjoyed in time of peace, its wealth acquired by the commerce carried 
on through its firths, and its fertile and well-cultivated soil naturally invited 
invaders from the south. 

The Cheviot Hills, which form the central portion of the Anglo-Scotch 
frontier, are not very elevated; but as their summits, owing to the severe 
climate, remain covered with snow for several months during the year, they 
form a substantial obstacle, and communication between their two slopes is 
difiicult. 

The Louther Hills lie within a belt of Silurian rocks which extends obliquely 
across Southern Scotland from the shores of the Irish Sea to the German Ocean. 
Within this same belt, but farther towards the south-west, and in the midst of a 
desolate region of crags, gullies, and lakes, rises one of the most elevated hills 
of this district, the Merrick (2,764 feet). A rugged upland stretches north- 
eastward from the Louther Hills, and connects them with the Moorfoot (2,136 feet) 
and Lammermuir Hills (1,722 feet), the spurs of which extend to the seashore. 
A second range of hills, less elevated and formed of more recent rocks, runs parallel 
with the main range, and sinks down to the level country of the Clyde and Forth. 
In a remote geological epoch, whilst the old red sandstone and the carboniferous 
strata were being deposited in the sea which then covered Scotland, numerous 
active volcanoes rose above the surface of the water. These volcanoes account for 



804 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



the dykes of lava and beds of scoriae whicli we now meet in the midst of 
sedimentary rocks. Being better capable of resisting destructive agencies 



Fig. 149. — Mount Merrick. 

Scale 1 : 160,000. 




4'35' 



4° 25 /v.of G. 



2 Miles. 



than rocks of other formations, the products of this volcanic action still 
rise here and there into hills and promontories, which impart a pleasing 
variety to the country. The small range of the Pentland Hills (1,840 feet), 



SOUTHERN SCOTLAND. 3O5 

which terminates to the south of Edinburgh, is one of these groups of eruptive 
rocks. 

The plain of the Forth and Clyde is traversed by a canal whose summit level 
lies at an elevation of only 157 feet, and at this spot the separation between the 
Lowlands and the mountain region of Northern Scotland is consequently well 
marked. But higher up, in Strathclyde, there exists another breach in the 
mountains, for the Clyde, which now flows to the westward, formerly pursued its 
course to the east, into the valley of the Tweed, and if Measures were not taken to 
protect against erosion the gravel deposits of the plain of Biggar, to the south of 
Lanark, the Clyde would resume its ancient course.* The water-parting between 
the Clyde and the Forth was formerly less elevated, for raised beaches are met 
with at many places along the estuaries of the two rivers, at an elevation of 
between 20 and 40 feet above the sea-level, and they contain the shells of 
animals similar to those still living in the neighbouring seas. In the vicinity 
of Glasgow, where repeated opportunities for examining the soil are aflbrded 
by the construction of sewers, the bones of whales, seals, and porpoises have 
frequently been found at 20 or 30 feet above the actual level of the sea. At 
the time these cetaceans w^ere stranded man already lived in the country, for 
close to their bones boats of various descriptions have been discovered, some 
of them mere dug-outs, such as are used by savages, but others skilfully con- 
structed of planks, with pointed prows and square sterns. Mr. A. Geikie is of 
opinion that these boats belong to the historical epoch, and that the Roman 
conquerors of the country may have seen them afloat on the estuary of the 
Clyde. In the bog of Blair Drummond, near the Firth of Forth, a whale was 
unearthed, which had been harpooned by means of an instrument made of the 
antlers of a stag.t In the neighbourhood of Falkirk, near the western extremity 
of the Firth of Forth, the sea formerly extended up the river Carron, far beyond 
the present head of the tide. The great Roman wall, named after Antoninus, 
though begun by Agricola, extended from sea to sea, so as not to leave wide 
passages at either end open to an invader. Yet no remains of this wall have 
been found to the west of Dunglass, where it finishes at a height of 25 feet above 
the present level of the sea. In the east it terminates on the top of a cliff", at 
Carriden, near Falkirk.+ In the interior of the country the remains of this wall 
may still be seen in a few places, and at the close of last century it was even 
possible to distinguish ten forts and bridge-heads which defended the principal 
river passages, and also portions of a ditch, 42 feet wide and 22 feet deep, which 
extended along its northern face. This region, formerly of such strategical 
importance, has, owing to its vicinity to two seas, its small elevation, and the 
riches of its soil and subsoil, become one of the most prosperous of Great Britain, 
and, indeed, of the whole world. Edinburgh and Glasgow are the two sentinels 
of this Scotch isthmus. It was the action of the glaciers which destroyed the 

* A. Goikie, " Scenery and Geology of Scotland." 

t Ramsay, " Physical Geology and Geography of Great Britain." 

X "Wilson, "Prehistoric Annals of Scotland;" Robert Chambers, " Ancient Sea Margins." 



806 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

more solid rocks, and spread their mingled waste over the plain, thus creating the 
most fertile soil to be met with in all Britain. 

Southern Scotland contrasts by its greater regularity of coast -line with the 
deeply indented shores of the north. In the east only one peninsula, bounded 
on the one side by the winding Firth of Forth, on the other by the Firth of 
Tay, advances beyond the line of coast. In the west the broad peninsular mass 
of Galloway projects towards Ireland, from which it is separated by a marine 
" pit " having a depth of nearly 1,000 feet. This peninsula terminates in the 
Rhinns of Galloway — anciently an island, but now joined by a low neck to the 
mainland. These are the only inequalities in the contour of the coast, and the 
contrast with the littoral region of the Western Highlands, where we feel almost 
lost in a labyrinth of " lochs," is a very striking one. These lochs, some of 
which communicate freely with the sea, whilst others are lakes drained by swift- 
flowing rivers and torrents, are first met with to the north of the Clyde, along 

Fig. 150. — The Wall of Antoninus. 
Scale 1 : 555,000. 




5 Miles. 



the skirt of the Highlands. Loch Lomond is the most beautiful of all these 
lakes, and that amongst them which has most frequently formed the theme 
of poets. The river Leven drains it into the Clyde. A sinuous strait at its 
northern end, a veritable lake, several miles in width near its centre, but becoming 
shallower in proportion as it grows wider. Loch Lomond presents its admirers 
with every possible contrast of scenery — gently swelling hills and rugged crags ; 
scarped islands raising their grey pinnacles abruptly above the translucent water, 
and groups of low islands covered with meadows and woods, and inhabited by 
bounding deer. Beautiful country residences are here and there seen along the 
shore, whilst near the northern extremity of the lake the long back of Ben 
Lomond (3,192 feet high), often enveloped in mist, rises above cultivated fields 
and forests. 

The same mountain region gives birth to the river Forth, one of the prin- 
cipal affluents of which has the famous Loch Katrine, sung of in Sir Walter Scott's 
*' Lady of the Lake," for its upper reservoir. Loch Katrine resembles the Lake 



iiiil(iiiHH£'!!i;T5r;iiiiiir;i:s;i:;«: :m 



ni Uiiii'iMii 



nii"iniiiiiirin,i»:mii((iiii(iiiii;!iiiFiM/i!iii!i!!iii!!!ii«P'«:' '!ii™^^^^^^ 




SOUTHERN SCOTLAND. 



807 



of Lucerne in its precipitous rocks and abrupt turnings. But the guardian spirit 
of the lake has become the bondmaiden of human industry, for the city of 
Glasgow has taken possession of Loch Katrine, in order that it may supply its 
inhabitants and factories with pure water. An aqueduct, 44 miles in length, of 



Fig. 151. — Loch Lomond. 

Scale 1 : 350,000. 




5 Miles. 



which 12 miles are tunnelled, pours every second 380 gallons of water into the 
reservoirs of the town. Manchester, in looking to one of the lakes of Cumber- 
land for its supply of water, is only following the example set by this great city of 
Scotland. 

Almost without lochs, the Lowlands are poor, likewise, in islands, and the larger 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



ones form in more than one respect a portion of tlie Highlands. The island 
of Arran, between the Firth of Clyde and Kilbrannan Sound, rises into 
lofty mountains in its northern part, and its most elevated peak, Gaodhbhein 
(2,866 feet) — that is, the "Windy Mountain," corrupted into Goat Fell by the men 



Fig. 152. — The Island of Arban. 
Scale 1 : 325,000. 




Depth iinder 26 


26 to 55 


Over 55 


Fathoms. 


Fathoms. 


Fathoms. 
- 5 Miles. 



of Saxon speech — attains a greater height than any other mountain in the south 
of Scotland. Arran, by its relief and wild aspect, forms part of the Highland 
region, but its geological structure attaches it to the Lowlands ; for although 
its northern portion is composed of metamorphosed Silurian rocks pierced by 
granite, its southern and lower half resembles the neighbouring Lowlands in its 



SOUTHERN SCOTLAND. 809 

geological features. To this position on the borders of two geological domains 
Arran is indebted for the great variety of its sedimentary and eruptive rocks, and 
for a corresponding variety of scenery. Lamlash Bay, sheltered by Holy Island, 
and surrounded by heights crowned with sepulchral pillars and other monuments, 
affords one of the safest anchorages on the Firth of Clyde, and seventy or eighty 
vessels frequently wait here for days and weeks for a favourable wind. The Isle 
of Bute, which penetrates far into the district of Gowan, from which it is separated 
by the Kyles of Bute, a narrow arm of the sea, is remarkable for its fine 
scenery. 

In addition to these two large islands and to several smaller ones which are 
contiguous to them, there are several islets of volcanic origin in the neighbourhood 
of the coast. One of these is Ailsa Craig (1,103 feet), a huge block of basalt, 
at the mouth of the Firth of Clyde. Its rows of grey columnar basalt separated 
by verdant terraces present a picture of singular beauty. The ruins of a tower 
crown its summit. Another of these islets is the Bass Rock (350 feet), at the 
entrance of the Firth of Forth, and about 2 miles from the shore, with a castle 
on its summit, formerly used as a state prison, and accessible only by means 
of ladders and ropes. This conical rock, when seen from a distance, almost 
looks as if it were overspread with snow, so densely is it covered with sea- fowl 
of every description. The solan goose only breeds on a few rocky islets around 
the coast of Britain, and amongst these the Bass Rock is the most famous, the 
scientific name of the bird — Siila Bassana — being derived from it.* 

Inhabitants. 

The Scottish Lowlanders are a very mixed race, and even their name is a 
singular proof of it. Scotland was originally known as Hibernia, or Igbernia, 
whilst the name of Scotia, from the end of the third to the beginning of the 
eleventh century, was exclusively applied to modern Ireland. The two countries 
have consequently exchanged names. Irish Scots, or Dalriads, having established 
themselves, about the middle of the third century, in Argyllshire, their neighbours 
became by degrees known under the same designation, and in course of time all 
the " Caledonians " were turned into " Scots."t 

It does not appear as if the aboriginal Picts or Caledonians, who lived in the 
country at the time of its conquest, formed a strong element of the actual 
population of the Scotch Lowlands. It is believed that their inhabitants are for 
the most part of British and Anglo-Saxon race. The line which separated the 
English from the Picts runs, no doubt, across the isthmus of the Clyde and Forth ; 
the ancient wall of Antoninus would thus have marked an ethnological frontier no 
less than a political one. But Saxons, Angles, and Britons were compelled to 
share their territory with emigrants of various races, including the Scots of 
Ireland, Frisians, Northmen, and Danes. At some places, and more especially 

* Hugh Miller, " The Bass Rock : its Civil and Ecclesiastical History." 

t Kemble, "Saxons in England;" Latham, "Ethnology of the British Islands;" Murray, in 
Philologienl Society's Transactions, 1873. 



310 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

along the coast, people of different origin live in close contact with each other, and 
yet remain separate. Their blood has not mingled ; habits, customs, and modes of 
thought and action have remained distinct. Along the whole of the coast, on that 
of the German Ocean no less than on that of the Irish Sea, we meet with colonies 
of fishermen, some of whom claim descent from the Northmen, whilst others 
look upon the Danes as their ancestors. There are even colonies which tradition 
derives from Flanders. Several of the maritime villages consist of two portions, 
like the towns on the coasts of Catalonia, Liguria, and Sicily, the upper part 
being inhabited by Saxon artisans and agriculturists, whilst the lower part forms 
the *' Marina " of Scandinavian fishermen. These various elements of the 
population have, however, become fused in the greater part of the country. 
Physically the Scotchman resembles the Norwegian, and this is not solely due to a 
similarity of climate, but also to the numerous unions between Scandinavian 
invaders and the daughters of the country. The languages of the two countries 
also possess more features in common than was formerly believed. The Scotch 
speak English with a peculiar accent, which at once betrays their origin. Their 
intonation differs from that of the English, and they suppress certain consonants 
in the middle and at the end of words. They still employ certain old English 
terms, no longer made use of to the south of the Tweed, and, on the strength of 
this, patriotic Scotchmen claim to speak English with greater purity than 
their southern neighbours. Amongst the many words of foreign derivation in 
common use, there are several French ones, not only such as were introduced by 
the Normans, but also others belonging to the time when the two peoples were 
faithful allies, and supplied each other with soldiers. 

The Scotch Lowlander is, as a rule, of fair height, long-legged, strongly built, 
and without any tendency to the obesity so common amongst his kinsmen of England. 
His eye is ordinarily brighter than that of the Englishman, and his features more 
regular ; but his cheeks are more prominent, and the leanness of the face helps 
much to accentuate these features. Comparative inquiries instituted by Forbes prove 
that physical development is somewhat slower amongst Scotchmen than amongst 
Englishmen ; the former comes up to the latter in height and strength only at the 
age of nineteen, but in his ripe age he surpasses him to the extent of about 5 
per cent, in muscular strength.* Of all the men of Great Britain those of South- 
western Scotland are distinguished for their tall stature. The men of Galloway 
average 5 feet 7 inches in height, which is superior to the stature attained in any 
other district of the British Islands. The Lowlander is intelligent, of remarkable 
sagacity in business, and persevering when once he has determined upon accom- 
plishing a task ; but his prudence degenerates into distrust, his thrift into avarice. 
There is not a village without one or more banks. When abroad he seeks out 
his fellow-countrymen, derives a pleasure from being useful to them, and helps 
their success in life to the best of his ability. 

The achievements of Scotch agriculturists, who are so little favoured by climate, 
must appear marvellous to the peasants of Italy and of many parts of France. 
* Forbes ; Hugh Miller, " First Impressions of England and the English." 



SOUTHERN SCOTLAND. 3^^ 

Under the fifty-sixth degree of latitude they secure crops far more abundant than 
those obtained from the fertile lands on the Mediterranean, which are 900 
miles nearer to the equator. Human labour and ingenuity have succeeded in 
acclimatizing plants which hardly appeared to be suited to the soil and climate of 
Scotland. About the middle of the eighteenth century a patch of wheat was 
pointed out near Edinburgh as a curiosity, whilst now that cereal grows in abun- 
dance as far north as the Moray Firth. And yet it appears as if the climate had 
become colder, for it is no longer possible to cultivate the poppy or tobacco, as was 
done in the beginning of the century. Several varieties of apples, pears, and 
prunes, formerly in high repute, no longer arrive at maturity, and the Horticultural 
Societies have ceased offering prizes for these productions, because it is no longer 
possible to grow them in the open air. The manufacturing triumphs of Scotland have 
been quite equal to those achieved in agriculture, and it is on Scottish soil that 
Glasgow, the foremost manufacturing town of the United Kingdom, has arisen 
with a population greater than that of either Manchester, Leeds, or Birmingham. 
Scotland, through her numerous emigrants who live in London and the other 
great towns, has also largely contributed towards the prosperity of England. 
The hawkers in the English manufacturing districts are usually known as 
"Scotchmen." The Scotch colonists in New Zealand and Canada are amongst 
the most active and industrious, and the young Lowlanders who go out to 
India as Government officials are far more numerous in proportion than those from 
England. 

The love of education for its own sake, and not merely as a means to an end, 
is far more widely spread in Scotland than in England. The lectures at the 
universities are attended with a zeal which the students of Oxford or Cambridge 
seldom exhibit. It is by no means rare to meet pupils in elementary schools 
who are passionately fond of study, and the humble homes of artisans and 
labourers frequently contain a select library which would do credit to a wealthy 
English tradesman. At the same time there are not wanting young men who 
accelerate their studies in order that they may secure the certificates which form 
their passport to lucrative employment. They work hard, no doubt, but they 
strive not after knowledge, but for material gain. The students of Edin- 
burgh have little time to devote to those exercises of strength and skill which 
are so highly cultivated at Oxford and Cambridge.* By a curious contrast, these 
Scotchmen, so practical and full of common sense, have an extraordinary love for the 
supernatural. They delight in stories of terror and of ghosts. Though clever 
architects of their own fortunes, they are yet fatalists, and the religious sects 
of which most of them are members defend with singular fervour the doctrine 
of predestination. Thousands amongst the peasants, dressed in clerical black, 
are veritable theologians, and know how to discuss the articles of their faith 
with a great luxury of Scripture texts. As Emerson says, they allow their 
dialectics to carry them to the extremes of insanity. In no other country of 
the world is the Sabbath observed with such rigour as in Scotland. On that day 

* Demogeot et Montucci, " De rEnseigncment superieur en Angleterre et en Ecosse." 



812 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



many of the trains and steamers cease running, and silence reigns throughout the 
land. There are even landed proprietors who taboo their hills on that day, 



Fig. 153.— The Fikth of Clyde. 
From an Admiralty Chart. Scale 1 : 474,000. 










5 Miles. 



and if a tourist is found wandering amongst them he is treated as a reckless 
violator of the proprieties. 



DUMFRIES-KIRKCUDBRIGHT. 313 



Topography. 



Dumfries is formed of the dales of the Nith, Annan, and Esk, which fall into 
the upper portion of Solway Firth, and is shut in by high naked hills on the 
land side, which aiford excellent pasturage. Tracts of marshy ground occur near 
the shores of the Solway Firth, including the Solway and the Locher Mosses, but 
these have been drained and brought under cultivation./ 

The first village we arrive at, on crossing the boundary river Esk, is Gretna 
Green, famed for its irregular Scotch marriages. Langholm, with a monument 
to Sir John Malcolm, is th^ principal village of Eskdale. Annan, a small 
seaport, lies at the mouth of charming Annandale. It carries on a modest 
coasting trade and a little cotton-spinning. Ascending the dale, we pass 
Lockerbie, noted for its sheep fair, and finally reach the picturesque village of 
Moffat, lying at the foot of Hart Fell (2,651 feet), and no less noted for its 
wild surroundings than for its sulphurous waters. Crossing from Annandale 
into Nithsdale, we pass the village of Lochmaben, on the side of a small lake, 
and the remains of one of the castles of Robert the Bruce — according to some, his 
birthplace. 

Dumfries, 8 miles above the mouth of the Nith, but accessible with the tide to 
vessels of 150 tons burden, is the most important town of South-western Scotland, 
and one of its most ancient ; it engages in the woollen and hosiery trades. Robert 
Burns died here, and a monument has been erected over his grave in the old 
churchyard of St. Michael's. Below the town are the ruins of Caerlaverock 
Castle, at one time a place of great strength, and on the other side of the river, at 
the foot of the Crifiel (1,867 feet), the beautiful remains of New or Sweetheart 
Abbey. Nithsdale is noted for its picturesque scenery. Most striking amongst 
its mansions is Drumlanrig Castle, a seat of the Duke of Buccleuch. Quite 
at the head of the dale, amidst the Louther Hills, are the lead mines of 
Wanlockhead. 

Kirkcudbright, formed out of the eastern portion of the old district of 
Galloway, lies between the rivers Nith and Cree, and is traversed in its centre by 
the Dee, of which the Ken is a tributary, and by the much smaller Urr Water. 
Wild moorlands occupy nearly the whole of it, and its population is incon- 
siderable. 

Kirkcudbright, the county town, on the estuary of the Dee, is merely a village, 
with a small coasting trade. At Dundrennan Castle, 6 miles to the south-east. 
Queen Mary spent the night after the fatal defeat of her troops at Langside. 
Castle Douglas is a neat town in the valley of the Dee. Higher up the Dee expands 
into two lakes, Lochs Dee and Ken, at the head of which is New Galloway. 
Gatehouse of Fleet and Creetown, the latter with granite quarries, are small 
ports on Wigtown Bay, to the west of the Dee ; whilst Dalbeattie, with its 
granite quarries, and Kirkpatrick- Durham are the most notable villages on Urr 
Water. 

117— E 



314 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



Fig. 154. — The Rhinns of Galloway. 
Scale 1 : 100,000. 



Wigtown consists of a mainland portion, filled with moorland hills, and of the 
peninsula, known as the Ehinns of Galloway, which is attached to it by a low 
neck of land. The population is sparse and decreasing. Wigtown, the capital, 
on Wigtown Bay, is a mere village, with a distillery and a small coasting trade. 
Far more important, though by no means prosperous, is Stranraer, at the head of 
Loch Ryan. On the . peninsula itself, and within 21 miles of the Irish coast, is 
Port Patrick, with an extensive harbour, constructed at vast expense, but little 

frequented. The only other villages 
deserving mention are Glcnluce, on Luce 
Bay ; Garlieston, on Wigtown Bay, 
with the principal seat of the Earl of 
Galloway ; and Whithorn, farther to the 
south, with the ruins of a cathedral 
founded by St. Mnian, the apostle of 
the Picts. 

Ayrshire borders upon the Firth of 
Clyde, into which flow the Garnock, 
Irvine, Ayr, Doon, and other rivers 
rising on the enclosing hill ranges. The 
county consists of three well-defined 
districts. Carrick, in the south, is a wild 
and desolate moorland region stretching 
up to Mount Merrick (2,764 feet) ; Kyle, 
in the centre, drained by Ayr Water, 
lies within a productive coal basin; 
and Cunningham, in the north, is a 
region of hills, extending to the crest 
of the upland which separates the 
county from Renfrewshire. Whilst 
Carrick supports but a small population, 
the northern part of the county, with its 
collieries and iron works, its textile 
factories and engineering shops, is one 
of the most densely peopled parts of 
Scotland. 

Girvan, on a fine bay near the mouth of Girvan Water, is the principal port 
of Carrick. On the bold coast between it and the mouth of the Doon stand the 
ruins of Turnberry and Dunure Castles, and the magnificent mansion of Colzean. 
The Doon rises in a lake of the same name, on issuing from which it flows through 
the iron and coal mining district of DalmelUngton. Mayhole, a small country 
town, lies in a side valley, and the river enters the sea below the village of Kirk 
AUoicay, the birthplace of Robert Burns. Ayr, the capital of the county, lies only 
a few miles farther north, at the mouth of Ayr Water, whose harbour is acces- 
sible to small vessels. It is a handsome town, with numerous villas, and its river 




to 14 14 to 28 28 to 55 Over 55 

"Fathoms. Fathoms. Fathoms. Fathoms. 



5 Miles. 



BUTE-LANARKSHIRE. 315 

is spanned by " twa brigs." The whole of this region will for ever be associated 
with the memory of Burns. At TarhoUon, a few miles up the Ayr, the poet 
established his Bachelors' Club in 1780, and wooed his " Highland Mary," in 
service as a dairymaid at a neighbouring mansion. Stiil ascending the Ayr, 
we pass Catrine, a manufacturing village, and reach Mauchline and Muirkirk, 
where there are collieries, iron works, and limestone quarries. Lugar and 
Cumnock, both on the Lugar, a tributary of the Ayr, are engaged in the same 
industries. 

Troon, about half-way between Ayr and Irvine, has a well- sheltered harbour, 
and is the busiest port of Ayr, shipping large quantities of coal. The river 
Irvine traverses the principal manufacturing district of the county, whose natural 
outlet is Irvine, near the mouth of the river. Kilmarnock, the largest town of the 
county, manufactures carpets, shawls, cottons, worsted, Scotch bonnets, machinery, 
and boots. The manufacturing villages of Hurlford, Galston, Newmilns, and Darvel, 
on the Upper Irvine, and Stewarton, to the north, are its dependencies. Kihcinning 
with Stevenston, Dairy, Kilhirnie, and Beith, in the valley of the Garnock, are towns 
of collieries and iron works. Three seaside towns on the northern coast of 
Ayrshire remain to be noticed. They are Saltcoats, with salt and magnesia works ; 
Ardrossan, with iron works and collieries ; and Largs, much frequented as a 
watering-place. 

The shire of Bute includes the islands of Bute, Arran, and Great and Little 
Cumbrae, in the Firth of Clyde. By geological structure these islands belong 
as much to the Highlands as to the Lowlands, and nearly 40 per cent, of the 
inhabitants are still able to converse in Gaelic, although hardly any are ignorant 
of English. Rothesay, the county town, is in Bute, as are also the villages of 
Millport and Kameshiirgh {Port Bannatyne) ; whilst Lamlash is the principal village 
in Arran, with a harbour not to be surpassed on the Clyde. 

Lanarkshire lies almost wholly within the basin of the Clyde, which, though 
inferior to the Tay and Tweed, has gathered within the area it drains nearly a 
third of the total population of Scotland. The river rises far to the south, its 
head-streams being fed by the rain which descends upon Hart Fell (2,651 feet), 
Queensberry Hill (2,285 feet), and the Louther Hills (2,403 feet). In its upper 
course it traverses a region of sterile moorlands, within which lies Leadhills. Near 
Biggar, on a stream which finds its way into the Tweed, the Clyde sweeps abruptly 
round to the north-westward, and on approaching Lanark it leaps down a succession 
of linns into the great agricultural and mining region of the county. The beautiful 
country around Lanark is one of the most famous in the history of Scotland, for it was 
here that the Scottish hero, Wallace, commenced his career. Here, too, at the 
neighbouring village of Neic Lanark, was founded the cotton-mill in which 
Robert Owen worked out his plans for the social regeneration of mankind. 
Between Lanark and Glasgow the river traverses the principal mineral region of 
Scotland. Its " black band " ironstone, containing coaly matter sufficient to 
calcine the adjacent ore without any addition of artificial fuel, has been a source 
of wealth to Scotch iron-masters, and enabled them to construct the sumptuous 



816 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

mansions dotted over the country. These products have caused the villages 
of this district to expand into populous towns, but it is only fair to observe that 
hardly one amongst them possesses other sources of attraction than collieries and 
iron works. Foremost amongst the towns to the east of the Clyde are Carluke, 
Wishaic with Cainhusnethan, Motherwell, Holytoivn, BellsJull, and Calderbank, in the 
valley of the Calder ; Airdrie, Coatbridge, Gartsherrie, Rosehall, and Tollcross, in 
the northern part of the county. Far more inviting than either of these is 
Hamilton, at the confluence of the Avon with the Clyde, with the sumptuous 
palace of its duke abounding in costly works of art, and its noble chase, in which 
a remnant of the breed of Scottish wild cattle still browse. The staple trades of 
Hamilton are hand-loom weaving and tambouring ; but Larkhall, Motherwell, and 
other coal and iron mining villages are in its neighbourhood, and at night the 
horizon is illumined with the fires of numerous smelting works. The Avon flows 
past Strathavon and Stonehouse, and near it is the famous Drumclog, where the 
Covenanters beat Claverhouse in 1679, only to meet a disastrous defeat soon after- 
wards at Bothwell Bridge, 2 miles below Hamilton, and near the picturesque 
ruins of Bothwell Castle. In its onward course the Clyde flows past the manu- 
facturing villages of Camhuslang and Riitherglen, whose swelling heights are crowned 
with the villas of the wealthy merchants and manufacturers of Glasgow. 

This town, though more populous than any other in Scotland, and ranking 
immediately after London, is not even the capital of a county. Glasgow, as 
early as the fifteenth century, had 14,000 inhabitants, but its distance from 
the sea and the small depth of the Clyde stunted its growth. At the time 
of the union the port of the Clyde, now so prodigiously busy, had hardly any 
commerce with foreign countries. Its position on the western coast precluded 
it from competing with the towns of England in their trafiic with continental 
Europe, and the English colonies were at that time closed against her merchants. 
But no sooner had the Act of Union placed Glasgow and Greenock on the footing 
of English ports than they endeavoured to secure their share in the commerce with 
America. They imported more especially the tobacco of Virginia and Maryland, 
and when they lost their monopoly in this branch of commerce, other industries 
had been created, and Glasgow increased rapidly in population. In 1801 it had 
already 80,000 inhabitants, and the increase since then has been enormous. 
Unfortunately this increase is entirely due to immigration, and not to an excess 
of births; for though Glasgow rejoices in the possession of magnificent parks, 
its death rate exceeds that of Bombay and Calcutta. The crowds of half-famished 
immigrants are so great, and the dens they inhabit are so unwholesome, that death 
reaps a more abundant harvest here than in most of the other great cities of the 
world. Irishmen without work, and numerous immigrants from the Highlands, 
furnish fresh food to succeeding epidemics, and the narrow wynds are the 
permanent abodes of consumption and fever. Yet between 1866 and 1876 more 
than 31,000 persons were driven from the most crowded parts of the city in 
consequence of the opening of new thoroughfares. 

The 150,000 houses of the town extend along both banks of the Clyde, but 



LANARKSHIRE. 



317 



the principal quarters and nearly all the public buildings are to the north 
of the river. The cathedral, with its beautiful Gothic crypt, is, with the 
exception of a church in the Orkneys, the only Catholic place of worship in 
Scotland which escaped destruction at the time of the Reformation. The order 
to wreck it had been given ; but the citizens, proud of their old church, resisted 
the iconoclastic zeal of the Calvinistic ministers. In the necropolis at the 



Fig. 155. — Glasgow. 
Scale 1 : 70,000. 




IMUe. 



back of the cathedral has been placed a conspicuous column in memory of John 
Knox. This venerable pile now stands near the eastern verge of the city, which 
has not grown up around it, but spread to the westward, in the direction of 
the sea. 

The old university, founded in the fifteenth century, has recently been 
transferred from its ancient site in the east of the city to the neighbourhood 
of the West-end Park, and its showy buildings occupy a magnificent position 



318 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

on the top of Gilmore Hill. Amongst its many collections that bequeathed by 
Dr. Hunter, the famous surgeon, is the most valuable. Hardly inferior in its 
museums and chemical laboratories is the so-called Andersonian University, which 
is at once a mechanics' institution and a school of science, whose evening classes 
are attended by thousands of students. By a curious clause in his will, the 
founder of this noble institution determined that it should be governed by nine 
times nine curators, of whom nine must be Andersons. George Square, with 
statues of Sir Walter Scott and other Scotch worthies, is the principal open 
space of the city, whilst Argyle Street, with its eastern continuation, Trongate, 
is the chief street. 

Glasgow is, above all, an industrial city, and of its buildings none attain a 
higher elevation than the chimneys of some of the great chemical works, which 
have not their equal in the world. Its industry is remarkable for its variety. The 
Scotch town spins cotton like Manchester, weaves silk like Macclesfield, makes 
cloth like Leeds and Halifax, manufactures jute like Dundee, builds ships like 
Middlesbrough, and has metal works, glass houses, and potteries like Birmingham, 
Newcastle, and Worcester. And in all these branches of manufacture it 
holds a foremost place. Far above 100,000 operatives find employment in its 
three or four thousand factories. 

The commerce of Glasgow is in proportion to its industry. The six lines of 
railway which converge upon it place it in communication with every part of the 
kingdom. As to its harbour, it includes the whole of the Lower Clyde, from the 
Glasgow Bridge, above the Broomielaw, to Greenock, a distance of 20 miles. 
The Clyde at Glasgow is scarcely 400 feet wide, and we marvel at the enterprise 
which converted a river of such small volume into one of the great ports of the 
world. Formerly, before the Clyde had been confined within embankments, it 
spread with each tide over the adjoining marshes, and at low water was obstructed 
by sand-banks, which rendered its navigation impossible to all but barges. At 
that time oxen were driven across it from Dumbarton into Renfrewshire, and sea- 
going vessels were obliged to discharge their cargoes 18 miles below Glasgow. In 
1653 the merchants of Glasgow, despairing of ever being able to convert the 
Clyde into a navigable river, determined to establish their port at Dumbarton ; 
but the citizens of that old town declined the ofier, for fear that the bustle 
of commerce and industry might interfere with their traditional customs.* 
Glasgow thus seemed to be condemned to remain an inland city, but it 
determined at least to have an outport of its own, and with that view, in 1662, 
excavated docks, and erected the warehouses at Port Glasgow, on the southern 
bank of the Clyde. 

At the same time the works for deepening the Clyde were continued, and in 
1718 the first vessel of 60 tons burden left Glasgow for North America. Greenock, 
more favourably situated, likewise traded with America, and during the 
whole of the eighteenth century it was a question which of the two towns 
would prevail in the end. But owing to the labours of Smeaton, Watt, and 
* Geo. Dodd, " The Land we Live In; " Ch. Dupin, " Voyage dans la Grande Bretagne." 



RENFEEWSHIEE. 3^9 

other engineers the city more distant from the sea gained the victory, and 
became the great emporium of the Clyde. By 1875 the Lower Clyde had 
been completely embanked, and its depth at low water was nowhere less than 
8 feet. Since that time the persevering work of powerful dredging machines 
has almost trebled the depth, and vessels of 1,000 tons can at all times lie 
at the side of the quays of Broomielaw. The Clyde was the first river 
regularly navigated by steam- vessels. This happened in 1812, and six years 
later a line of steamers had been established between Greenock and Ireland. 
At the present time Glasgow communicates with every part of the world, 
and the Clyde ports only yield in activity to those of the Thames, the 
Mersej^, and the Tyne. It has been noticed that gulls have become more 
numerous in the valley of the Clyde since Glasgow has grown into a great 
maritime port, and it is evident that these birds follow in the wake of 
vessels. 

Govan and Fartick, on the Clyde, below Glasgow, have ship- yards and print 
works. Maryhiil, to the north-west, is a small manufacturing town. 

Renfrewshire occupies the low-lying land on the southern bank of the Clyde 
below Glasgow, and extends upwards from the river bank to the crest of a ridge 
formed of igneous rock, which separates it from Ayrshire, and attains a height of 
1,700 feet. The country possesses iron and coal, and its dense population is 
engaged in building iron ships and machinery, cotton-spinning and other textile 
industries, iron-founding, and sugar refining. 

Renfreiv, the county town, on the Cart, not far from its mouth into the 
Clyde, is now a place of little note, having been long since outstripped by its 
neighbour Paisley, 2 miles above, which manufactures cotton, woollens, tartans, 
thread, shawls, and machinery. Still higher up in the valley of the Cart, which 
for a considerable portion of its course runs parallel with the Clyde, are the 
smaller manufacturing towns of Pollockshmvs, Thornliehank, Bushy, and Eagles- 
ham. Barrhead and Neilston, on Leven "Water, a tributary of the Cart, are 
engaged in the cotton and linen trades. The alum works of Hurlet are near 
the former, and both have collieries and iron mines. Johnstone and Kilbar- 
chan, on the Black Cart, are dependencies of Paisley, with collieries in their 
neighbourhood. 

Port Glasgow was founded by the merchants of Glasgow, but since the 
deepening of the river has much declined in importance, though still a bust- 
ling port, with ship-yards and other manufactures. Greenock, its neighbour, 
though only provided with a harbour in the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, has become one of the great towns of Scotland, where the construc- 
tion of iron steam- vessels is carried on to a great extent, besides which there 
are sugar refineries, foundries, potteries, and jute and worsted factories. James 
Watt, the improver of the steam-engine, was born at Greenock, and a marble 
statue has been raised to his memory. Gourock, beautifully situated at the mouth 
of the Clyde (which 'is defended by Fort Matilda), is much frequented as a 
watering-place. 



820 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Dumbartonshire includes a lowland tract along the north bank of the Clyde, 
and a Highland region shut in between Loch Long and Loch Lomond, which rises 
in Ben Vorlich, near the head of the lake, to a height of 3,091 feet. Descending 
the Clyde below Glasgow, we pass Dunglass Point, where the Roman wall 
terminated, and which is surmounted by the ruins of a castle, and an obelisk 
erected in memory of Henry Bell, the introducer of steam navigation. A few 



Fig. 156.— Greenock and Helensburgh. 
Scale 1 : 100,000. 




Fareshore. Depth to 2| 
Fathoms. 



1 Mile. 



miles below, at the mouth of the Leven, is the two-peaked basaltic rock of the 
famous city of Dumbarton, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Strathclyde. 
Dumbarton, owing to its commanding position, has ever played an important part 
in military history. The Cumbrians called it Al-Cluyd, whilst the Scotch gave 
it the name of Dun-Breton, and that name, slightly modified, it has retained to the 
present day. It is the Balclutha of Ossian's poems. The castle which crowns the 



DUMBARTONSHIRE. 



321 



Fig. 157.— Dumbarton. 
Scale 1 : 25.000. 




rock encloses remains of mediaBval structures, and even a few bits of Roman 
masonry. In accordance with the treaty of union between England and Scotland, 
this ancient residence of Robert 
the Bruce, Mary Stuart, 
Charles I., and Cromwell is 
to be maintained for ever as a 
place of defence, Dumbarton 
engages extensively in the con- 
struction of iron ships, besides 
which it is a great resort of 
tourists bent upon a visit to 
the beautiful scenery of Loch 
Lomond. The Leven, which 
drains that lake, flows past 
Balloch, Alexandria, Bonhill, 
and Renton, all of which en- 
gage in cotton bleaching and 
dyeing, or have print works. 
Luss, a village on the western 
shore of Loch Lomond, has 
slate quarries, and the fishing 
village of Arrochnr, farther 
north, marks the present 
southern limit of Gaelic. 

Cardross, below Dumbar- 
ton, is noteworthy as the place 
where Robert Bruce died. 
Almost immediately after- 
wards we reach Helensburgh, a 
flourishing watering-place near 
the mouth of Gare Loch, only 
founded in 1777, opposite to 
which rises the wooded emi- 
nence of Roseneath, with a 
mansion of the Duke of Argyll. 

Kirkintilloch is the princi- 
pal place in a detached portion 
of the county, which adjoins 
Lanarkshire in the north. 




55-1 '^^mjm^^^.imm^Mrf^ 



W.of G. 



4'-34 



Collieries are in its neighbour- 
hood. 



Depth under 
2 Fathoms 



Over 2 
Fathoms. 

Half a Mile. 



The basin of the Tweed, though far more extensive than that of the Clyde, and 
not without tracts of fertile land, is nevertheless but sparsely peopled ; most of 
its towns are mere villages, and only two amongst them have over 10,000 inhabitants. 



822 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Peebles, which occupies the upper basin of the Tweed, its boundaries coinciding 
nearly with those of the ancient district of Tweeddale, is for the most part 
a wild pastoral region, sloping northward from the Hart Fell, but communi- 
cating on the west, through the curious breach of Biggar, with the valley of the 
Clyde. Peebles, the county town, is but a small place with some woollen trade. 
Innerleithen^ a village at the confluence of Leithen Water with the Tweed, has 
mineral springs. 

Selkirk is traversed by the Tweed in the north, whilst the bulk of the shire 
lies within Ettrickdale and Yarrowdale — the one drained by a •' water " thrown 
off from Ettrick Pen (2,269 feet), the other by a stream descending from St. 
Mary's Loch. Selkirk, the county town, has been famous for centuries for the 
manufacture of single-soled shoes, and woollen-mills have lately been erected 



Fig. 158. 



-Galashiels and Melrose. 
Scale 1 : 238.000. 




1 Mile. 



along the banks of the Ettrick. In the neighbouring dale of the Yarrow are the 
ruins of " Newark's stately tower," and the farm of Foulshiels, where Mungo 
Park was born. 

Galashiels, near the confluence of the Gala with the Tweed, and on the borders 
of Roxburghshire, is, with Hawick, the great manufacturing town of the valley of 
the Tweed, and one of the principal seats of the woollen and hosiery trades, being 
known more especially for its tartans and " tweeds." 

Roxburgh extends southward from the Tweed to the Cheviot Hills, which 
separate it from Northumberland, and reaches in the south-west beyond the 
uplands connecting the Cheviots with the more central hills of the Lowlands 
into the valley of the Liddel, which is tributary to the Tees, and through 
it .to the Sol way Firth. The south-western part of the county forms the 
district of Liddisdale, whilst the main portion, sinking down towards the Tweed, 



BERWICKSHIRE. 



323 



is known as Teviotdale. Roxburgh, which derives its name from a royal castle 
on the Lower Teviot, now in ruins, is largely engaged in the woollen and hosiery 
trades. Crowds of visitors are annually attracted to it because of its association 
with Sir Walter Scott, and of the numerous ruins of ecclesiastical buildings which 
he has rendered famous. Abbotsford, the residence of the poet, stands on the 
wooded bank of the Tweed, which there forms the western boundary of the 
county. Melrose Abbey and Dryburgh Abbey, both jn ruins, are on the same 
river, but lower down. Kelso, on the northern bank of the Tweed, and opposite 
the mouth of the Teviot, occupies a site of singular beauty. It, too, has the 
remains of a stately abbey, overtopping, even in its ruined condition, all the houses 
around it. 

Jedburgh, the county town, lies in the well-sheltered valley of the Jed, which 



Fig. 159.— Hawigk. 

Scale 1 : 90,000. 




Q-50- 



Q-^S' 



iMUe. 



is tributary to the Teviot, and whose mild climate ripens fruit which elsewhere 
in Scotland does not attain to maturity. It is a place of great antiquity, but its 
castle and turreted walls did not shield it from being repeatedly burnt and pillaged 
by English invaders. The ruins of its abbey are imposing even in their decay. 
Sir David Brewster and Mrs. Somerville were born at Jedburgh. *• Jethart 
Justice " became proverbial during the border wars, when it was applied to 
marauders who were hanged first and tried afterwards. Hawick is a thriving 
manufacturing town on the Teviot. 

Berwickshire is a maritime county to the north of the Tweed, which, in 
addition to the fruitful plain of the Merse, and the valleys of the Lauder and 
the Black and White Adder, includes the southern slopes of the Lammermuir 
Hills and a small district along the cliff-bound coast. 



324 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



Berwick-on-Tweed having been severed from the county and attached to 
England, there is not a single large town. At Coldstream, on the Tweed, General 
Monk, in 1660, raised the regiment still called the Coldstream Guards. Earkton 
and Lauder are villages in Lauderdale. Chernside, near the confluence of the 
two Adders, is the birthplace of David Hume. Lunse, the largest town in the 
county, though its population numbers less than 3,000 souls, is engaged in hand- 
loom weaving ; whilst Greenlaw, on the Black Adder, though the county town, is 
merely a small village with a fine county hall and gaol. Eyemouth, the only seaport 



Fig. 160. — FiRTK OF FOKTH. 
Scale 1 : 177,000. 




2 Miles. 



of the county, engages in the herring fishery. The coast to the north of it is 
exceedingly wild. Two of its promontories are occupied by the lighthouse of 
St. Abb's Head, and by Fast Castle, described as Wolfs Crag in the "Bride 
of Lammermuir " The ravine of the Pease, or Peaths, descending to the coast, 
is spanned by a singular bridge. 

The three counties which lie along the southern coast of the Firth of Forth 
have been carved out of the ancient district of Lothian, and are hence still 
frequently described as East, Mid, and West Lothian. 



Scale 1 : 290,000 . SovmdingS ni FaihojoiS 



EDINBURGH At 




HADDINGTON— EDINBURGH. 825 

Haddington, or East Lothian, consists in the main of a fertile lowland, above 
which rise a few detached groups of hills, and which is bounded on the south by 
the Lammermuir Hills (1,732 feet). The Tyne Water crosses the lower part of 
the county from west to east. The coast, with its bold cliffs interrupted by sandy 
bays, is perilous. No part of Scotland surpasses this county in its agriculture. 

Haddington, the county town, on the Tyne and at the foot of Gareton Hill, is one 
of the principal grain markets in Scotland. Rape-seed cakes and bone manure are 
manufactured. The fine old Gothic church, the ** lamp of Lothian " of other days 
because of its beauty, is now in ruins. Gifford, the birthplace of John Knox, lies 
to the south. Dunbar, near the mouth of the Tyne, with a harbour difficult of 
access, is one of the principal seats of the herring fishery. Its dismantled castle, 
on a jutting rock perpetually gnawed by the sea, is famous for its gallant defence 
by "Black Agnes," the Countess of March. Two battles were fought near 
Dunbar in 1296 and 1650, and in both the Scots were routed. North Berwick has 
become the most fashionable watering-place on the east coast of Scotland, but 
engages also in the herring fishery. Near it, on a bold clifi* half surrounded by 
the sea, stands Tantallon Castle, and 2 miles from the shore rises Bass Rock, 
covered with sea-fowl. In the western part of the county are Cockenzie, a fishing 
village; Frestonpans, with a famous brewery, and noteworthy, moreover, on 
account of the battle fought in its neighbourhood in 1745 ; and the market town 
of Tranent, whose inhabitants engage in the manufacture of silk, and near which 
are a few collieries. 

The county of Edinburgh, or Mid-Lothian, extends southward from the 
Forth on either side of the sterile Pentland Hills, which occupy its centre and 
terminate only in Arthur's Seat and the Castle Hill of Edinburgh. The fertile 
valley of the L^pper Esk separates the Pentland from the Moorfoot Hills, and 
between these latter and the Lammermuir Hills, on the borders of Berwick, a pass 
790 feet in height leads into the valley of the Gala, which is tributary to the 
Tweed. The Water of Leith drains the western portion of the county, and the 
river Almond forms the boundary towards East Lothian. Agriculture is carried 
on with care and success, but the inhabitants possess also other resources in their 
collieries, shipping trade, and various manufactures. 

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, may certainly claim to take a place amongst 
the beautiful cities of Europe. It possesses, above all, what most of the towns of 
England are deficient in — originality. It is one of those rare places whose site 
would become picturesque country if all the houses were to be suddenly swept 
away. Edinburgh is unique in the natural beauty of its position, and the art 
with which its inhabitants have availed themselves of the inequalities of the 
ground in erecting their monuments and laying out their gardens. Moreover, 
Hke Glasgow, it enjoys the advantage of being built of stone and marble, the 
neighbouring quarries of Craigleith and Corstorphine having supplied the 
material required by its builders. In poetical language Edinburgh is called 
**Dunedin," while one of its vulgar epithets is "Auld Reekie.'' 

In the eastern part of the plain through which the Water of Leith takes its 



326 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

devious course there rises a rock of basalt, forming a bold scarp to the east 
but sinking down gently towards the west. A picturesque castle of irregular 
shape, and formed of groups of buildings erected in the course of ten centuries, 
occupies the western brow of this rock, whilst at its foot rises the old palace of 
Holyrood, with its crenellated towers and the ruins of its abbey. Between castle 
and palace, on both slopes of the hill, the old town of Edinburgh has been built, 
its houses rising, according to the nature of the ground, to a height of seven or 
eight floors. This site, however, soon proved too small for the growing city, 
which invaded the valley to the south of the castle, and climbed the slopes beyond. 
Later still, during the second half of the eighteenth century, it overflowed the 
narrow ravine to the north, and sumptuous dwellings arose upon a third hill, 
which slopes gently down in the west and north in the direction of the Water of 
Leith and the sea. Bridges joined the new quarters in the north and south to the 
old town, whilst beautiful gardens, ornamented with statues, occupy the vacant 
spaces and the ravine, formerly the abode of a pestilential swamp. Calton Hill, 
already surrounded by houses, and Arthur's Seat (822 feet), both to the east, afibrd 
excellent views of the city with its public buildings and gardens, of the fertile 
country around it, its ports and jetties on the Firth of Forth, and of distant 
mountains as far as Ben Lomond. At the present day unbroken avenues of houses 
join Edinburgh to Leith, itg principal port, as well as to the minor ports of 
Newhaven and Granton ; but there w^as a time when an uninhabited plain 
separated it from the sea. This was a feature which it had in common with 
Athens. The citizens of Edinburgh could therefore talk about their Piraeus and 
Acropolis ; and indeed, looking to the many great men whom the capital of 
Scotland has produced, no other town has equal claims upon the epithet of 
" Athens of the North." Foremost amongst the famous children of Edinburgh 
are Hume, Robertson, Dugald Stewart, Erskine, Napier (the inventor of logarithms), 
Walter Scott, Brougham, Macaulay, Hugh Miller, and Nasmyth. 

The ancient capital of a kingdom, Edinburgh still guards regalia in its castle, 
and one of its buildings retains the name of Parliament House, although now 
merely the seat of the High Courts of Judicature and the depository of the Advocates' 
and Signet Libraries, supported by the advocates and writers to the Signet, but 
thrown open, with commendable liberality, to the public at large. The Advocates' 
Library is entitled to a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom, and 
amongst other treasures bearing upon the history of Scotland, it contains the 
precious collection of Gaelic manuscripts formed by the Highland Society in the 
course of the inquiry instituted to determine the authenticity of Ossian's poems. 
The Signet Library is rich in works relating to the history of England and 
Ireland. Holyrood Palace possesses the remains of its abbatial church and a few 
curious pictures, but historical associations attract the crowds who visit it more 
especially to the apartments formerly occupied by Mary, Queen of Scots. 

The most prominent public buildings of Edinburgh are consecrated to educa- 
tion. The university, founded in 1582, is attended by 1,500 students, and 
possesses a library of 160,000 volumes and valuable museums. The Museum of 



EDINBURGH. 327 

Science and Art, modelled upon that of South Kensington, but possessing in 
addition a natural- history collection, adjoins it. The observatorj' on Calton 
Hill, by the side of Nelson's unshapely monument and of an incomplete repro- 
duction of the Parthenon, intended to commemorate the glories of Waterloo, is 
a dependency of the university. There are a famous medical school, various 
theological colleges, a veterinary college, a high school, Fettes College (richly 
endowed), and many other schools in which a classical education, preparatory to 
a university career, may be secured. On the " Mound," which connects the old 
town with the new, rise two classical structures, namely, the Royal Institution, 
with an antiquarian museum and a statue gallery, and the National Gallery of 
Paintings. Statues and monuments are numerous in every part of the town^ 
most prominent being the Gothic canopy sheltering a seated statue of Sir Walter 
Scott. Botanical and zoological gardens still further bear witness to the zeal 
which animates the citizens in all that relates to education, and prove that they 
are firmly resolved that their city shall deserve its epithet in the future as it 
has earned it in the past. Nor is there any lack of charitable institutions. 
The Royal Infirmary ; Heriot's Hospital for the Education of Fatherless Boys, 
founded by James's " Jingling Geordie ; " and Donaldson's Hospital for Deaf and 
Dumb are institutions of which any city might feel proud. 

Edinburgh is not a manufacturing town, although in the matter of literary 
publications of every kind it may fearlessly take its place by the side of London. 
In no other town of Britain are the members of the liberal professions so numerous. 
Unfortunately the number of proletarians is as great as in many a factory town, 
and the narrow " closes " of the old town hide a population seething in vice, which 
ever attends upon misery. 

Leith, the maritime suburb of Edinburgh, is a seat of manufactories, where 
we meet with foundries, engineering works, breweries, india-rubber and gutta- 
percha works, foundries, glass houses, and rope-walks. The harbour, one of the 
oldest in Scotland, is protected by two long piers, 3,530 and 3,123 feet in length, 
and regular steam communication exists between it and Iceland, Denmark, 
Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, and the coasts of England and Scotland. 
Newhaven, a small fishing village, adjoins Leith, whilst Gr anion, though only a 
mile to the west of it, is an independent port, connected by a steamboat ferry with 
Burntisland, in Fife. Portohello, thus named by a sailor who had taken part in 
the assault upon a town of the same name in America, has grown into favour as a 
watering-place. Near it are the Joppa salt works. 

Musselburgh, at the mouth of the Esk, spanned by three bridges, of which the 
oldest is said to have been constructed by the Romans, who had a camp on 
Inveresk Hill, has extensive links, affording the best golfing ground near Edin- 
burgh. Pinkie House, an interesting mansion, near which the Earl of Hertford 
defeated the Scots in 1547, and Carberry Hill, where, in 1567, Queen Mary 
surrendered to her insurgent nobles, are in the neighbourhood. Dalkeith, a small 
manufacturing town and busy grain market, with collieries near it, lies a few 
miles up the river, at the confluence of the North and South Esk. Close to it 



328 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

are Dalkeith Palace, a seat of the Duke of Buccleuch, and Newbattle Abbey, the 
residence of the Marquis of Lothian. Borthwick Castle, where Queen Mary 
resided after her unfortunate marriage with Bothwell, lies to the south-east. 
Full of interest are the banks of the North Esk, which flows along the eastern 
foot of the Pentland Hills. Beyond the manufacturing village of Lassicade we pass 
Ros/in, with the ruins of its beautiful Gothic chapel ; the moor on which the 
Scots, led on by Corayn, scattered three English hosts '* beneath one summer 
sun ; " and Hmvthornden, the seat of Drummond, the poet and friend of Shakspere 
and Ben Jonson. Higher up still we pass through the romantic scenery 
described in Allan Ramsay's pastoral poem, " The Gentle Shepherd," and finally 
reach the small town of Pennycuick and its paper-mills. 

Far less interesting is the region to the south-west of Edinburgh. The only 
villages there are Mid-Calder, on Almond Water, and West Calder, still higher up 
in the hills, where oil is distilled from shale. 

The county of Linlithgow, or West Lothian, is a hilly tract of country, for 
the most part of great fertility, and rich in iron and coal, which stretches from 
the Firth of Forth into the valley of the Clyde. Linlithgow, the county town, 
seated on a little /m, or lake, was anciently the Versailles of the Kings of 
Scotland, and in its royal palace, burnt down in 1746, Mary Stuart was born. 
Borrowstounness, or JBo'ness, to the north of Linlithgow, on the Firth of Forth, is 
a shipping port and colliery town, and its galleries extend beneath the Firth 
until they nearly meet those driven from the coast opposite. Towards the close 
of last century the owner of these mines, the Earl of Kincardine, had a circular 
quay constructed in the middle of the Firth, from which a shaft gave direct access 
to the mine. This curiosity existed for many years, until an exceptionally high 
tide washed over it, flooded the mine, and drowned the miners that were in it. 
Up to 1775 all miners and salt-makers of Lothian were serfs, attached to the soil, 
and sold with it. Their definitive liberation only took place in 1795, and there 
still live old men in Scotland who were born slaves.* Travellers described these 
miners as reduced by misery to the level of beasts ; but their descendants have 
much improved in appearance, and no longer attract attention by their gauntness 
and hollow eyes. 

Queensferry, at the narrowest part of the Firth, will, in the course of a few 
years, be joined to North Queensferry by one of the most stupendous suspension 
bridges ever constructed. The roadway of this bridge will lie 150 feet above high 
water, and its chains will be supported upon eight towers, of which those on the 
island of Inchgarvie, in the middle of the Firth, will rise to the extraordinary height 
of 596 feet. The spans on either side of the island will be 1,600 feet in width. 

Bathgate is the principal town in the interior of the county. It has an oil- 
shale distillery, and depends largely upon its trade in corn and cattle, and the 
neighbouring collieries. Near it are Armadale, Crofthead, and Torphichen, the 
latter with the ruins of a preceptory of the Knights of St. John. 

* Hugh Miller, " Edinburgh and its Neighbourhood ; " Lord Rosebery, at the Social Science 
Congress, Glasgow, 1874. 



STIELINGSHIRE— CLACKMANNAN. 329 

Stirlingshire lies along the south of the Forth, which is bordered from 
its estuary up to Flanders Moss by a tract of alluvial land, formerly subject to be 
flooded. The upper portion of the county is shut in between Loch Lomond and the 
Upper Forth. It forms part of the Highlands, and rises in Ben Lomond to a 
height of 3,192 feet. The centre of the Lowland portion is traversed by ridges of 
igneous rock forming the Lennox Hills and Campsie Fells (1,894 feet). On the 
north these hills are bounded by a strip of old red sandstone, whilst on the south 
they border upon carboniferous limestone and coal measures. 

Falkirk, the principal town in the eastern part of the county, lies on the 
margin of the alluvial plain, not far from the Carron. It is the centre of a rich 
agricultural district, with important cattle fairs, and its vicinity is lit up at night 
by the fires of numerous iron works, most important amongst which are the 
Carron Works, 2 miles to the north. Falkirk was formerly of great strategical 
importance, for through it led the highway which armies desirous of passing 
round the head of the Firth of Forth were obliged to follow. IS'umerous battles 
have been fought in its vicinity. In 1258 Edward I. inflicted a defeat upon the 
Scotch ; in 1746 the Pretender routed the English army. Grangemouth, at the 
mouth of the Carron and of the Forth and Clyde Canal, though only founded in 
1777, has become a place of considerable commerce. It is an eastern outport of 
Glasgow. Higher up on the Carron are Kinnaird, the birthplace of Bruce, the 
traveller, and Denny, a small manufacturing town. Crossing the water-parting, we 
enter the basin of Kelvin Water, a tributary of the Clyde. Near its northern 
bank, and in the vicinity of Graham's Dyke, or Antoninus's Wall, are the small 
towns of Kilsyth, Lennoxtoivn, and Milngavie, which have bleaching grounds and 
print works, and lie within the manufacturing district of which Glasgow is the 
centre. 

Stirling, the county town, occupies a site admirably adapted for the defence 
of the passage of the Forth, whose valley is here confined between two steep 
rocks. Stirling Castle, which still commands the town, is associated with many 
events in the history of Scotland. A colossal statue of Robert the Bruce has been 
raised within its precincts, whilst the rock on the opposite side of the valley is 
crowned with a tower commemorating the first victory secured by Wallace in 
1297. The view from the battlements of the castle is unsurpassed for beauty in 
Scotland, and extends from the summits of the Grampians along the Links of the 
Forth to the head of its Firth. Several of the old mansions in the town remind 
us of similar buildings in Eouen, and prove the prevalence of French taste 
during the sixteenth century. South of Stirling are St. Ninian's, inhabited by 
nail-makers, and Bannockhurn, which manufactures tartans. It w^as near these 
villages that Robert the Bruce defeated the English in 1314. Bridge of Allan, 
2 miles to the north of Stirling, is much frequented for the sake of its mineral 
springs and its delightful neighbourhood. Kipjjen, a village on the Forth, 
11 miles above Stirling, is noted for its whiskey. 

The small county of Clackmannan stretches from the Ochill Hills (Ben 
Cleuch, 2,352 feet) to the alluvial plain bordering upon the Firth of Forth, and 

118— E 



830 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



is traversed by the Northern and Southern Devon rivers. The former of these rivers, 
not far from the Rumbling Bridge, forms the falls of " Caldron Linn." It is 
rich in coal and iron, and its inhabitants are employed in mining, in the 
manufacture of woollen stuffs, and in other branches of industry. Alloa, its 
largest town, lies near the head of the Firth. Its manufactures are of importance. 
They include plaids and shawls, steam-engines, ships, snuff, whiskey, and ale. 



Fig. 161. — The Narrows op Queensferry. 

Scale 1 : 70.000. 




0to5 
Fathoms 



Over 28 
Fathoms. 



1 MUe. 



Dollar, with Castle Campbell, the old stronghold of the Argylls ; Tillicoultry ; and 
Alva (the latter in an outlying part of Stirlingshire), with disused silver 
mines, are small manufacturing towns in the valley of the Northern Devon, and 
at the foot of the Ochills. Clackmannan, the county town, is a mere village on 
the Southern Devon. 

Kinross is a small inland county, shut in between the Ochill Hills and the 
basaltic Lomond Hills (1,713 feet), with its centre occupied by a beautiful sheet 



FIFE. 



331 



of water, Loch Leven, on one of the islands in which stands Lochleven Castle, in 
which Mary Stuart was imprisoned in 1567. The lake is famous for its fish. 
Kinross, the county town, stands on the margin of the lake, and has manufactures 
of linen and woollen. Milnathort, a flourishing village near it, is noteworthy as 
possessing the oldest public library in Scotland, 

Fife consists of the peninsula which juts out towards the North Sea, between 
the Firths of Tay and Forth, and terminates in Fife Ness. The northern portion 
of this peninsula is traversed by an eastern continuation of the Ochill Hills, com- 
posed of igneous rock. The fertile valley of the river Eden, or the Howe of Fife, 
separates this part of the county from its southern and larger portion, almost 
wholly covered by carboniferous rocks, capped here and there with sheets of 
basalt, tuff", and volcanic agglomerate. There is much fertile land, and extensive 
tracts have been planted with trees. Coal and iron mining, the manufacture of 
Unen, and the fisheries are of importance. 

Dunfermline, on the steep bank of the Lyn Water, has ruins of a royal palace 
and of an abbey, and is the principal seat of the linen manufacture. Coal mines and 
iron works (including those of Oakley) are in its neighbourhood. The whole of 
the coast of the Firth of Forth is studded with fishing villages and towns. 
Inrerkeithing and North Queensferry are close to the northern end of the tremendous 
railway bridge now being constructed over the Forth. Lower down are Dalgetty, 
with salt works and collieries; Aherdour ; Burntisland, »with. an excellent 
harbour ; Kinghorn ; and Kirkcaldy, the birthplace of Adam Smith. Kirkcaldy is a 
place of considerable importance, with rope-walks, flax-mills, and a good local 
trade. East of it are Dysart, where coal is shipped ; Wetnys and Buckhaven, two 
fishing villages ; and Leven, at the mouth of the river of the same name, which 
flows down from Loch Leven. On the banks of that river are Markinch, with 
collieries, flax, and cotton mills, and Leslie, with flax and bleaching works. 
LochgeUy lies in a tributary valley near a small lake. Once more returning to 
the coast, we pass the fishing villages of Largo, Earlsferry, Pittenweem, and Anstru- 
ther, and doubling Fife Ness, find ourselves ofi" the perilous port of the famous 
old city of St. Andrews, which was of great commercial activity formerly, but now 
deserted for places more favourably situated. There are the ruins of a cathedral 
wrecked by the Calvinists, and near it the tower of a chapel founded by St. Regulus, 
as also the remains of a castle overhanging the sea. The university, founded in 
1411, is the oldest in Scotland, and, with its residential colleges, is more like 
Oxford and Cambridge than are the other universities of the country. Foremost 
amongst the other scholastic establishments of the town is Madras College, founded 
in 1833 by Dr. Andrew Bell for the purpose of practically testing the monitorial 
system of education invented by him. The salubrious air, no less than the educa- 
tional advantages of St. Andrews, has attracted many well-to-do residents. 

The river Eden enters the sea to the north of St. Andrews, and in the centre 
of its fertile valley stands Cupar, the county town, with many curious old build- 
ings and various industries. Pipe-clay is found in the vicinity, and manufactured 
into pipes. Higher up the Eden are the small market towns of Auchtermuchty and 



332 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

FaMand, with the " palace " in which the eldest son of Robert III. died of 
starvation. 

Ferry port-on- Craig occupies a commanding position at the mouth of the Tay, 
opposite Broughty. Newport and Balmerino are villages on the Tay, between which 
stood the bridge, destroyed in December, 1879. Neichurgh, higher up, on the 
border of Perthshire, beautifully situated, carries on a considerable trade in corn 
and coals. Near it are the ruins of the abbey of Lindores. 




CHAPTER XIY. 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 



(The Counties of Perth, Forfar, Kincardine, Aberdeen, Banff, Elgin, Nairn, Inverness, Ross 
AND Cromarty, Sutherland, Caithness, Orkney, Shetland, and Argyll.) 




' GrENEKAL Features. 

HIS is a portion of the British Islands which, compared with England 
and Southern Scotland, is but thinly populated. In its great geo- 
graphical features, its relief, contours, and coast-line, it resembles 
Scandinavia rather than any other part of Great Britain. If 
the sea once more flooded the broad plain stretching from the 
Forth to the Clyde, its character of insularity would hardly become more apparent 
than it is now. Upper Caledonia is, in fact, a large island, with smaller islands 
for its satellites. 

Far more elevated in the mean than England, nearly the whole of it is 
occupied by mountains ; and these mountains form ranges, which extend almost 
without an exception from the south-west to the north-east. In the south this 
Highland region is bounded by the Strathmore, or " Great Yalley," through which 
the plain of the Forth is extended north-eastward towards Montrose and Stone- 
haven. The valleys of the Dee, Doveran, Spey, Findhorn, and Nairn run parallel 
with that plain towards the German Ocean, and the remarkable fissure of 
Glenmore, which connects Loch Eil with the Inverness Firth, extends in the 
same direction. There are few fissures in Europe which in rigidity of contour can 
compare with this ''Great Glen" of Scotland, which, 100 miles in length, joins 
the Atlantic to the German Ocean. If the Dee were to rise but 100 feet, the 
northern extremity of Scotland would be separated from the remainder of the 
Highlands, and the chain of lakes and rivers now occupying the glen converted 
into a narrow strait of the sea of uniform width. The ocean would then follow 
the path apparently traced for it in the Caledonian Canal. The execution of that 
work was greatly facilitated by the existence of the river Ness, which falls into 
Inverness Firth, and Loch Ness, which occupies the centre of the isthmus. All the 
engineers had to do was to excavate a canal 22 miles in length, and to furnish it 



334 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



with lochs and Neptune's ladders. Loch Ness, which occupies the centre of 
Glenmore, is one of the most remarkable lakes for depth and regularity of contour • 
for a length of some 20 miles it has a width of 4,600 feet ; the scarps which bound 
it rise to a height of 1,300 feet ; and its depth is 790 feet. In the seas near the 
neighbouring coast there are but few localities which exceed this depth. 

In that part of Scotland which lies to the north of the Caledonian Canal there 
exists another depression analogous to that of Glenmore, but far less regular in 

Fig. 162. — Glenmore. 
Scale 1 : 1,540,000. 




its contour, and not yet completely scooped out towards the north-west. It is 
almost wholly occupied by Loch Shin, and by the river which drains that lake 
into Dornoch Firth. Its direction is almost at right angles to the mountains, 
which here, as they do farther south, extend towards the north-east, with the 
Orkneys and Shetland Islands lying in the prolongation of their axis. The sub- 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 



335 



marine range which forms the Hebrides follows the same direction, as do also the 
Lofoten, on the coast of Norway, and the plateau of Scandinavia. 

As a whole the mountains of Northern Scotland are known under the designa- 
tion of Grampians — thus named after a Mount Graupus, mentioned by Latin writers, 
but misspelt by their copyists. These mountains consist of a large number of 
groups and chains, separated by narrow glens or valleys occupied bv lakes. 
Immediately to the north of the estuary of the Clyde rise the Southern Grampians, 
whose summits, Ben Lomond (3,192 feet), Ben More (^'^,281 feet), and Ben Lawers 
(3,984 feet), are most frequently the goal of tourists, owing to their vicinity to 
large towns. Farther north rises the almost insulated mass of Ben Cruachan 



Fig. 163.— Ben Nevis. 
Scale 1 : 200,000 




W.ofGr, 



2 Miles. 



(3,670 feet), by the side of Loch Awe ; and farther away still, beyond Loch Leven, 
one of the ramifications of the Firth of Lorn, there looms in front of us the 
highest summit of the British Isles, Ben Nevis (4,406 feet). Its aspect is all the 
more imposing as its foot is washed in two lochs, and we are enabled at a glance to 
embrace it in its entirety, from the sands and meadows at its foot to the snow which 
generally caps its summit. Ben Nevis, the "rock which touches the heavens," 
forms the western pillar of the Grampians proper, wbich terminate to the south of 
Aberdeen, after having thrown off the spur of Cairngorm towards the north-east. 
At the point of separation rises Ben Muich Dhui, or Mac Dhui (4,296 feet), 
the second highest mountain of Great Britain. The Grampians are the back- 



336 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

bone of all Scotland. Protuberances of granite rising into domes above tbe 
Silurian strata abound in tbem, and extend eastward to the German Ocean, whose 
waves wash the foot of the granitic promontory of Buchan Ness. 

The mountains which rise beyond the deep and narrow Glenmore are known as 
the Northern Highlands. Ben Attow (4,000 feet), their culminating summit, is 
inferior in height to Ben Nevis, but they do not yield to the Grampians in wildness 
of aspect. Even in the Alps we meet few sites so severely melancholy as are the 
Highland glens of Ross and Sutherland. In the Alps we have at least the bright 
verdure of the meadows, and at an inferior elevation dark pine woods ; but most of 
the Scotch mountains are covered with sombre-coloured greyish heather and 
peat ; black mountain streams run down the narrow glens ; and the mists, creeping 
along the mountain sides, alternately hide and reveal the crests of the rocks, which, 
suddenly seen through the vapour, loom forth like phantoms, only to sink back 
again into nothingness. The very solitude has something formidable about it. 
The earth appears to be void of life. From every summit the eye embraces sheets 
of water winding between avenues of rocks, against the foot of which we can 
even occasionally hear the waves beating. From some of the promontories we 
look down a sheer precipice of 300 feet upon the foaming waves lashing their foot. 
Cape Wrath, which forms the north-western angle of Scotland, is one of those 
superb headlands invariably surrounded by the foam of the sea. Duncansby 
Head, the other angle of the peninsula, is less abrupt ; but near it, in the midst of 
the waves, a few isolated rocks rise like obelisks. 

Leipoldt estimates the mean height of Scotland, including the Lowlands, at 
1,250 feet, and probably this is not excessive, for the plains are few, and those in 
the north are of small extent.* Excepting Strathmore, the north-eastern extension 
of the plain of the Forth, the only level parts of Northern Scotland capable of 
cultivation are to be found on both sides of Moray Firth and in the peninsula of 
Caithness, to the north-east. These plains belong to a geological formation different 
from that of the Grampians, for they are composed of old red sandstone. But though 
cultivable plains are limited in extent, there exist vast stretches of undulating 
moorland, gradually rising to heights of many hundred feet, and through which 
we may wander for miles without meeting with a tree or human habitation. 
Formerly nearly all the Highland valleys were covered with forests, which extended 
also up the mountain sides, and several etymologists are of opinion that Caledonia 
simply means "forest." Near Balmoral, in the upper valley of the Dee, the 
trunks of pines have been dug up from the peat at an elevation of 2,460 feet above 
the sea-level. There now survive only miserable remnants of these ancient woods, 
for since the Middle Ages all the old forests have been either cut down or burnt, 
on account of their harbouring wolves, boars, and outlaws. On the conclusion of 
the Highland wars, as many as 24,000 woodmen were employed at a time 
in destroying the forests, f Nearly all the trees now in the valleys have been 

* According to a careful computation made at the Ordnance Survey Office, the mean height of Perth 
and Clackmannan is 1,144 feet ; that of Banflfshire, 965 feet ; and that of Aberdeen, 875 feet. 
T John Wilson; Keltie, " History of the Scottish Highlands." 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 837 

planted recently. Here and there, in the vicinity of the sumptuous mansions 
of the owners of the land, the ancient forests have been partly replanted, but away 
from them the eye meets nought but heather, peat, and naked rocks. 

No Scottish mountain pierces the line of perennial snow ; but occasionally 
in hollows which the sun's rays penetrate but for a few hours in summer, the 
snow remains diiring the whole of the year. The precipitation, which exceeds 
6 feet on the higher summits of the Grampians, descends in the shape of snow 
during a considerable portion of the year, and the winds pile up this snow in the 
valleys in masses too considerable to melt away very quickly. The superabundant 
moisture, which is not carried off by torrents or ** waters " to the sea, is then sucked 
up by the mosses which cover the sides of the valley, or fills the lochs which 
occupy their bottom. Several of these water-laden peat mosses extend down the 
opposite slopes of a plateau, and give birth to rivulets flowing in contrary direc- 
tions. In countries formed of solid rocks such bifurcations are rare ; but they occur 
frequently in regions like Scotland, where the rocks are covered with a thick 
layer of peat saturated with water. The numerous breaches in the mountain 
ranges account for this anastomosis between river basins. One of the most 
remarkable of these transverse breaches is occupied by Loch Errocht, lying imme- 
diately to the east of Ben Alder, a mountain over 3,000 feet in height. 

We have seen that the general direction of the mountain ranges, valleys, and 
rivers of Scotland is from the south-west to the north-east ; but besides this, on a 
closer examination of the surface of the land, we find that the rocks are scored in 
parallel lines of remarkable regularity. It almost looks as if the whole country 
had been carded like the fleece of a sheep. All the hills at the foot of the High- 
lands and in the Lowlands have been planed to their very summits, and to this 
planing must be ascribed their rounded form and smooth contours.* What 
other agency can thus have changed the appearance of the mountains, if not that of 
the glaciers which formerly covered the whole of the country, and whose drift 
deposits and terminal moraines may still be traced in every valley descending 
from the Grampians ? During the great ice age huge rivers of ice flowed down from 
the mountains of Scotland. Passing over the hills, they cut away all inequalities 
of the ground,' and spread the debris over the plains : reaching the sea, they 
sent adrift floating icebergs. According to whether a glacier was more or less 
formidable, it deposited its terminal moraine at a more or less considerable distance 
from its head, forming either banks and groups of islands in the arms of the sea, 
or barriers across the valley. There is not a glen or a strath in all Scotland whose 
streams were not arrested by one of these moraines, and pent up so as to form a 
lake, whose level gradually rose until its waters were able to escape. These heaps 
of glacial gravel, which lie across every river valley, and are sometimes concealed 
beneath a bed of peat, whilst at others they form undulating hills covered with 
verdure, are known as kaims. They are the eskers of Ireland, and the asar of 
Sweden. The stiff clays of the glacial epoch are called ti/l in Scotland, and are 
the boulder clay of English geologists. 

* James Geikie, "The Great Ice A.ge." 



338 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

But the rocks detached by glacial action from the summits of the Grampians 
were not all deposited at the foot of the glaciers. There was a time, during the 
great ice age, when a large portion of Grreat Britain was submerged beneath the 
waters of the Atlantic, and icebergs, cast off by the Scotch glaciers, carried rocks 
and other debris to considerable distances. Only in this way can we explain the 
presence of Scotch granite in the clay of "Wolverhampton and near Worcester, at 
a distance of 170 and 200 miles from the mountains whence these erratic blocks 
can have been derived.* The Hebrides, too, formerly much less elevated than 
they now are, were planed by icebergs floating across the Minch.f But whilst 
Caledonia sent its rock-laden icebergs to immense distances, it became in turn 
the depository of erratic blocks detached from the mountains of Scandinavia. 
In the county of Aberdeen, and in other parts of Scotland, Norwegian granite 
occurs in immense quantities. At various places the glacial streams descending 
from the Scotch and the Scandinavian mountains appear to have met, and 
deflected each other. The glacial scorings on the rocks of Caithness, for instance, run 
from the south-east to the north- west, instead of from south to north, in accordance 
with the direction which the icebergs took when first they started upon their 
pilgrimage. This deflection, however, is explained if we assume that they 
encountered an easterly current laden with Scandinavian ice, and were consequently 
drifted to the north-westward. Similar scorings, traceable to the agency of 
Scandinavian ice, have been discovered on the rocks of the Orkneys, Shetland 
Islands, and Faroer.+ 

Oscillations of the soil succeeded each other in Caledonia in the course of 
geological periods. Near Grangemouth the bed of an ancient river has been 
discovered at a depth of 260 feet beneath the Forth, and this proves that the 
country must have subsided to that extent since this river flowed across it.§ 
So considerable and unequal have been the changes of level that boulders of 
granite are found now at a height greater than that of the mountains from 
which they were originally detached. The most recent phenomenon of this 
nature is that of a gradual upheaval of the land. It is owing to this upheaval 
that the share which the glaciers of Norway had in the formation of Scotland 
has been revealed to us. Along all the coasts may be observed raised beaches 
covered with marine shells, some as regular in their contours as if the sea had 
only recently retired from them, others ravined by torrents, and here and there 
covered with debris. At a height of 43 feet above the actual level of Loch 
Lomond can be traced one of these ancient beaches, which must have been formed 
when that loch was still an arm of the sea, and freely communicated with 
the ocean. The erratic blocks stranded on the raised beaches of some parts of 
the coast resemble rows of penguins perched on a projecting terrace. Along the 
coasts of Aberdeen and Caithness these ancient beaches vary in height from 
10 to 160 feet, and their elevation gradually diminishes as we proceed north- 

* Mackintosh; Symonds, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, November, 1877. 
t James Geikie, " History of a Boulder." 
X James Croll, " Climate and Time." 
§ James Geikie, " The Great Ice Age." 



NORTHEEN SCOTLAND. 339 

ward — a proof that the upheaval was unequal in amount, as is at present the case 
in Scandinavia.* The question naturally arises, whether this evident upheaval 
took place at the termination of the glacial epoch, or whether it continued during 
the historical age, down, perhaps, to our own time. It is the opinion of geologists 
that the principal upheaval occurred during an epoch in which the climate was 
colder than it is now, for the shells discovered on the raised beaches belong in a 
large measure to a more northern fauna than that of the neighbourino- seas.f 
However this may be, the village of Kinlochewe, on the western slope of Ross, is 
sometimes referred to in proof that the upheaval continued after man had taken 
possession of the land. The Gaelic name of that village signifies "head of 
Loch Ewe;" but the loch terminates 14 miles below the village, which stands 
at the upper end of the land-locked Loch Maree. Hence, it is concluded, the 
bottom which now separates Loch Maree from the sea, and through which runs 

Fig. 164. — The Parallel Roads of Glenroy. 
Scale 1 : 156,000. 




2 Miles. 



the emissary of the lake, can have appeared only after the village had been 
founded by the Gaels. This feature accounts for the humorous saying, that the 
Gaelic was spoken even before the birth of the lakes. 

In the interior of Scotland there exist on the hillsides numerous lacustrine 
beaches similar to those along the coast, and so wide and regular in the contour 
as to be distinguishable even from a distance of several miles. The most famous 
of these raised beaches are the *' parallel roads " of Glenroy. They occupy corre- 
sponding elevations on both sides of a glen descending towards Glenmore. There 
are three parallel and horizontal " roads " on either side, at elevations of 
respectively 860, 1,070, and 1,150 feet. The natives account for the existence of 
these roads by asserting that they were constructed by the kings of old. Their 

* S. Laing, Nature, 1877- 

t Smith, Memoirs of the Wernerian Society. 



340 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



Fig. 165.— The Firths of Western Scotland. 
Scale 1 : 2,500,000. 



origin formed a fertile source of discussion for years, when Agassiz, familiar with 
the glacier phenomena of the Alps, paid a visit to Glenroy. He at once recognised 

the ancient beaches of a lake of variable 
height pent up by a glacier which lay 
across the outlet of the valley. 

The firths of AVestern Scotland, similar 
in all respects to the fiords of Norway, 
also remind us of the work accomplished 
by glaciers. On looking at a map we 
cannot help being struck by the contrasts 
presented by the two coasts of Scotland. 
The eastern coast is indented by a few 
arms of the sea, but upon the whole it is re- 
markable for the regularity of its contour. 
Quite different is the western, Atlantic 
coast, between Cape Wrath and the Firth 
of Clyde. There the irregularities in 
the contour are innumerable. Peninsulas, 
curiously ramified, hang to the mainland 
by narrow necks of sand. Large islands, 
themselves indented and cut up into 
fragments, add to the confusion ; and in 
this labyrinth it is only after patient 
observation that we are able to distinguish 
between islands and mainland, lakes and 
arms of the sea. The natives, indeed, 
apply the same term indifferently to lakes 
and firths, designating both as lochs, 
and many a promontory is named by 
them as if it were an island. Loch Etive 
is one of the most remarkable of these 
sheets of water, which are at the same 
time arms of the sea and inland lakes. The 
sea actually penetrates up that firth for a 
distance of 18 miles ; but its bed consists 
of two distinct basins, placed end to end, 
and separated by a bar, hardly covered 
with 6 feet of water. At Connel Sound, 
which lies at the entrance of the lower 
basin, the tides rush past with the noise 
of a cataract. Loch Etive attains a depth of 445 feet, whilst the depth of the sea 
outside hardly exceeds 150 feet. Loch Fleet, another of these firths, has been 
converted into a fresh-water lake by means of a simple wall built across its mouth.* 
* A. Geikie, "Scenery and Geology of Scotland." 




W.oF G 



25 Miles. 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 



341 



Along many parts of the coast the water in the lochs resembles that of Loch 
Stennis, in the Orkneys, which is briny at one end and fresh at the other ; and 
like it they have two distinct faunas and floras.* 

What, then, is the cause of the contrast between the two coasts of Scotland, a 
contrast which may also be observed with regard to the Baltic and Atlantic coasts 
of Scandinavia? Why have the ancient gulfs opening out upon the German 
Ocean been filled up with alluvium and drift, whilst the innumerable indenta- 
tions on the west have retained their primitive form^ ? It is once more the 
glaciers to which this phenomenon must be attributed. In the glacial age, as in 
our own days, the moisture-laden winds came from the west and south-west, and 
precipitation, mostly in the form of snow, was consequently most considerable along 
the western slopes. But they were not torrents which carried the waters back into 



Fig. 166.— Loch Etive. 
Scale 1 . 250,000. 



'n. '*f ^7.~ir^<^:'y r TFX^-^?zr^s? 





Wof G 



5-20- 



5°IC' 



the sea ; they were glaciers. On the eastern slope the smaller amount of precipita- 
tion only sufficed to maintain small glaciers, which never descended beneath the 
upper valleys, and gave birth to rivers winding through the plain. The contrast 
in the hydrographical features of the two slopes could not have been greater. 
Along the eastern coast the sea threw up ridges of sand at the mouths of the gulfs, 
in which the rivers deposited their alluvium, gradually filling them up, and 
obliterating the original irregularities in the outline of the coast. On the west, on 
the other hand, the enormous rivers of ice occupied the valleys through which 
they took their course, and, instead of filling them up with alluvium, they scooped 
them out still deeper. Every river of ice and every affluent which discharged 
itself into it, from the right or left, thus shielded the inequalities in the ground 
from obliteration ; and when the climate grew milder, and the glaciers melted 
* Hugh Miller, "Footprints of the Creator." 



342 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



Fig. 167. 



-LoGH Tarbekt and the Cuinan 
Canal. 
Scale 1 : 500,000. 



''■}J^ 



away, the beds whicli they had occupied appeared as firths. The moraines, which 
they had deposited beyond the old line of coast, only rendered more intricate 
the labyrinth of straits. Owing to the enormous masses of ice which formerly 
filled them, the depth of several of these firths is very considerable, and far in 
excess of any to be met with in the North Sea, to the west of the abyssal 
" deep " of the Skager Rack. Loch Broom, between the counties of Ross and 
Cromarty, has a depth of 723 feet at its entrance ; Sleat Sound, between Skye and 
the mainland, is 820 feet deep ; and the Sound of Mull 720 feet. 

Nevertheless the agencies ceaselessly at 
work must in the end succeed in filling 
up even the firths of Western Scotland, as 
of all temperate regions. As an instance 
may be cited Holy Loch, opposite to the 
mouth of the Clyde, the larger portion of 
which has already been invaded by alluvium. 
Elsewhere the sea lochs have been cut asun- 
der through the agency of lateral torrents, 
and their upper basin has gradually been 
converted into a fresh-water lake, which 
is slowly growing smaller. Not only are 
the rivers busy in filling up these arms of 
the sea, but the latter likewise throws the 
waste of the land upon the shore. We find 
that the depth of a loch is always greatest 
on that side most exposed to violent winds, 
whilst banks of sand are deposited in the 
less agitated water.* These alluvial deposits, 
whether of fluvial or marine origin, and 
perhaps aided by a slow upheaval of the 
whole land, have already converted several 
islands along the coast into peninsulas. The 
peninsula of Morven, for instance, on the 
western side of Loch Linnhe, is, in reality, 
an insular mass like its neighbour Mull. The 
elongated peninsula of Kintyre, whose Gaelic name ( Cean tire) means Land's End, 
or Finisterre, may also be looked upon as an island, for the neck which attaches 
it to the mainland is no more than 60 feet in height. This neck of land is traversed 
by the Crinan Canal, 9 miles in length, which is in reality a southern dependency 
of the Caledonian Canal, and enables vessels drawing 10 feet of water to proceed 
from the North Sea to the Clyde and Ireland without circumnavigating the 
northern extremity of Scotland. A similar canal through Kintyre has been 
projected farther south, where the two Lochs Tarbert approach within three- 
quarters of a mile of each other. 

* Oleghorn, " Observations on the Water of Wick," Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. 




W.f G 5- 



Depth to 28 
Pathoms. 



28 to 55 
Fathoms. 



55 to 110 

Fathoms. 

- 2 Miles, 



Over 110 
Fathoms. 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 



843 



If we include mere rocks, the islands dependent upon Scotland must be 
numbered by thousands ; but official statistics only mention 788 islands of 
which 186 were inhabited in 1871, or 4 less than ten years before. The 
archipelago, properly to be described by such a name, which lies nearest to 
the Scotch coast, is that formed by the Orkneys, or "Seal Islands," as their 
Icelandic name has been rendered.* The distance between Duncansby Head 
and South Eonaldsha, the southernmost of the group, hardly exceeds 6 miles. 
Pentland Firth, as the separating channel is called, is dreaded for its currents 
produced by conflicting tides. Off Stroma boils the whirlpool of Swelkie, 



Fig. 168.— Holy Loch, and the silted-up Loch of Eachaig. 
Scale 1 : 100,000. 




1 MUe. 



which a song of the ancient Eddas describes as a mill ever at work to grind the 
salt of the ocean. During spring tides the current rushes along here with a 
velocity of ten knots an hour; and in a tempest which raged in December, 
1862, the waves, dashing against Stroma, threw up stones and fragments of broken 
vessels to a height of 200 feet. The strait was no longer wide enough for the passage 
of the Atlantic waters, and the sea advanced like a wall. Even in ordinary times the 

* Richard Burton, " Ultima Thule." Others translate, " Islands of the Point " (Thomas, " North 
Sea Pilot"). 



344 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



waves are dashed over the northern cliffs of the island, and give birth to a briny- 
stream flowing southwards, on the banks of which the natives have erected a 

mill.* 

Twenty-seven of the Orkneys are permanently inhabited, and about forty 
smaller islands afibrd pasturage for sheep. In their contour these islands present 
all the features of the coast of Western Scotland, and from the sea the archipelago 
assumes the appearance of a single island bristling with bold headlands and 
peninsulas. The islands, however, are formed of old red sandstone, and their 
elevation is but trifling, Ward Hill, of Hoy, their culminating point, only 



Fig. 169.— The Orkneys. 

Scale 1 : 850,000. 




28 to 55 
Fathoms, 



O per .55 
Fathoms 



10 MUes. 



attaining a height of 1,555 feet. Close to the shore of that island rises the Old 
Man of Hoy, an insulated pillar 300 feet high, with arches below. The Main- 
land, or Pomona, t is far less elevated than Hoy. Most of the Orkneys are 
covered by natural meadows, and the peat bogs are of small extent. One ot 
the ancient Scandinavian Earls of Orkney actually received the surname of Tort 
Einar, or " Turf-cutter," because he regularly visited tbe neighbouring mainland, 
where he procured bis turf, or peat. The old lords of these islands likewise 



* Peach ; Geikie, " Scenery and Geology of Scotland." 

t A Scandinavian name, and not Latin : its meaning is unknown. 



NOETHEEN SCOTLAND. 345 

visited Scotland when desirous of hunting, for there only existed forests harbour- 
ing wild beasts. The Orkneys are now inhabited by peaceable agriculturists and 
fishermen, but during the early Middle Ages they were of great strategical 
importance. They then afforded shelter to the fleets of the Norwegian vikings, 
who thence threatened equally the western and eastern coasts of Great Britain. 
During summer every part of the British Islands lay open to their attack, whilst 
in winter they shut themselves up in their fortresses, and kept high festival with 
barbaric splendour. 

The Shetland Islands (Zetland or Hjaltland) lie in the same axis as the 
Orkneys, from which they are separated by a channel 48 miles across. In the 
centre of this strait lies Fair Island, otherwise Faroe, the '' Island of Sheep," a 
scarped mass of rock rising to a height of 706 feet. Upon this desolate island 
was cast, in 1588, the flag-ship of the Spanish Armada, and the natives are hence 
supposed to have Castilian blood in their veins. Many amongst them, finding 
their island too small for their support, have sought a new home in Canada. 
There are few cliffs in the world superior in wild grandeur and steepness to 
those of Northern Shetland. When circumnavigating the Mainland, cape 
rises beyond cape from above the deep sea, which has worn caverns into the foot 
of the cliffs. One of these caverns, or helyers, is known as the '' Orkney man's 
Harbour," on account of its having once afforded shelter to an Orkney fisherman 
pursued by a French privateer. Although the mean height of Shetland is greater 
than that of the Orkneys, there is no summit equal to Ward Hill, of Hoy. 
Roeness Hill, a granitic dome on the northern peninsula of the Mainland, only 
rises 1,476 feet. 

The archipelago, since 1766 the property of the Earl of Zetland, consists 
of more than 100 islands, of which 34 are inhabited, the others being mere 
stacks, or pillars of rock ; skerries, or foam- washed reefs ; and holms, or 
small islands, affording pasturage to the spirited Shetland ponies and to dimi- 
nutive cattle, lately crossed with English shorthorns.* For the most part the 
soil of the islands consists of heathy wastes, and there exists only one tree, about 
10 feet high, which is looked upon as a great curiosity. The remains of birch 
forests have, however, been discovered in the peat bogs. 

Secure harbours are numerous between these islands, and the depth of the 
sea, even within a short distance of the land, generally exceeds 30 fathoms. But 
this very depth often proves a source of danger to the mariner, as the islands are 
frequently enveloped in dense fogs, and an appeal to the sounding-lead affords 
no information as to the proximity of land. Often, too, powerful roosts, or 
tidal currents, carry vessels out of their proposed course into the midst of cliffs. 
Foul Island, or Foula, which lies in raid -ocean, 18 miles to the west of Mainland, 
is more formidable of aspect than any other island of the Shetland group. The 
small creek on its south-eastern coast is at all times dangerous of approach. 
The Kaim, or culminating summit of the island, rises to a height of 1,370 feet, and 

* John Wilson, " British Farming." 
119— E 



346 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



its cliffs present sheer precipices of 1,000 feet. The bold men who visit this 
rocky island in search of birds and birds' eggs cause themselves to be attached to 
a rope, and lowered from the top of the cliffs. 

The Shetland Islands as well as the Orkneys have frequently been identified 



Fig. 170. — The Shetland Islands 
Scale 1 : 401.00O. 




W.of G. 



Depth to 55 
Fathoms. 


55tol10 
Fathoms. 


110 to 280 
Fathoms. 

5 MUes. 


Over 280 
Fathoms, 



with the Ultima Thule of ancient writers, although there can be no doubt tbat the 
Thule discovered by Pytheas of Marseilles, and placed by him under the Arctic 
Circle, must have been Iceland. The Hebrides, which lie to the west of Scotland, 



■I 

lilii' 





I3LE OF SKYE-THE KILT ROCK. 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 



347 



were likewise looked upon, for a considerable period, as one of the most northern 
countries in Europe. Yet, as we have already seen (ride p. 301), to the Scandi- 
navians they were Southern Islands. The Scotch, however, know the Hebrides 
as Western Islands, and two amongst them are still more emphatically known as 
Uist, or "West." The ancients called these islands Rebudes, or Miide.s, wrongly 
read Hebrides by a careless 

copyist. Another ancient name ^^S- 171.— The Western Islands. 

is that of Innis Gail; that is, scaiei : 2,225,000. 

''Isles of the Gaels." 

Several among these Western 
Islands must be looked upon as 
detached fragments of the main- 
land, from which they became 
separated through the formation 
of a marine valley, and which 
they resemble in geological struc- 
ture, f It w^as thus that Skye 
became an island. Its eastern 
promontory projects far into 
Loch Alsh, and Kyle Rhea, the 
narrow strait which connects that 
loch with the Sound of Sleat, is 
scarcely 500 yards wide. The 
mountains of Skye, rising in 
Scuir-an-Gillean, one of the 
Cuchullins, to a height of 3,220 
feet, run in the same direction 
as the mountains of Inverness. 
But whilst Eastern Skye is mainly 
formed of metamorphosed Silu- 
rian rocks, its larger western 
portion is overspread with basalt. 
Skye is one of the most pic- 
turesque islands of the Hebrides, 
with serrated ridges, sheets of 
lava, cup-shaped caldrons, silvery 
cataracts and mountain lakes, 
and spar caverns. One of the 

most remarkable curiosities of the island is the Quiraing (1,000 feet), near its 
northern cape. It consists of a turf-clad platform of basalt, standing like a table 
amongst gigantic columns of rock, for the most part inaccessible. 

The Western, or Outer Hebrides, are separated from the mainland and its 
contiguous islands by the deep channel of the Minch, which sinks to a depth 
of 150 fathoms. From their northern promontory, the Butt of Lewis, to Barra 




Depth to 28 
Fathoms. 



28 to 65 
Fathoms. 


55 to 110 
Fathoms. 

25 Miles. 


Over 110 
Fathoms. 



348 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Head, on the small island of Bernera, the development of this chain of gneissic 
islands is so regular that in the eyes of the inhabitants of Scotland there exists but 
one Long Island. This island, however, is made up of hundreds of fragments — 
islands, islets, rocks— most of which are inhabited, though the population is 
numerous only on Lewis and Harris (which jointly form the northern and largest 
island of the group), North Uist, South Uist, Benbecula, and Barra. Each of 
these fragments of Long Island has its hills, its Ben More, or " Big Mountain," 
its lakes, peat bogs, lochs, and fishing ports. The traces of ancient glaciers are 



Fig. 172. — Lochs of Southern Lewis. 
Scale 1 : 275,000. 




visible throughout, and several parts of Lewis have evidently been planed down 
by them into a succession of ridges.* 

Two submarine ridges lie outside the Western Hebrides, in the open Atlantic, 
but they emerge only at two places, viz. in the Flannan Islands, or " Seven 
Hunters," and in the miniature archipelago of Hirt, or Hirst, usually named 
St. Kilda. The largest island of this group is still inhabited, notwithstanding its 
remote situation, the small extent of its cultivable soil, and the difficulty of access. 
This lonely island, 50 miles to the west of Lewis, is formed almost wholly of steep 

* The culminating summits are— Bhein Mhor (Ben More), in Lewis Forest, 1,750 feet; Clesham, 
in Harris, 2,662 feet : Ben More, of South Uist, 2,038 feet. 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 



349 



cliffs, rising to a height of 1,220 feet, and access is possible only through a cleft in 
the rocks.* Hirt is undoubtedly the most forsaken place in Europe, and its 
inhabitants can but rarely see from their prison home the indistinct contours of 
the nearest abode of man. St. Kilda, which vessels can approach only during the 
three months of summer, is looked upon even by the inhabitants of the Hebrides 
as an abode of misery, though, thanks to the tales of fishermen, what they state 
respecting it is mixed up with much that is fabulous. ^ But the unanimous reports 
of travellers, confirmed by the register of births and deaths, prove that the 
nineteen families who inhabit the island are so largely influenced by the lonely life 
they lead, that the arrival of a vessel with sailors and passengers suffices to 
produce a general sickness, attended with cold in the head, amongst them. 

Fig. 173.— St. Kilda. 
Scale 1 : 750,000. 




This "eight days' sickness," or "boat cough," is dangerous, more especially 
in the case of the men, and when imported by a vessel coming from Harris, it 
not unfrequently terminates fatally, t Similarly, on several islands of the Pacific, 
a single stranger spreads around him an atmosphere of sickness. The handful 
of people living on St. Kilda have to undergo a hard struggle for existence. The 
children, before they can be considered safe, have to pass through a succession of fits 
—caused, in the opinion of medical men, by the peculiar food administered to 
them, for from the day of their birth they are made to swallow oil taken from 
the stomach of a petrel mixed with port wine. Out of every nine children born, 

* J. Sands, " Out of the World, or Life in St. Kilda." 

f John Morgan, " Diseases of St. Kilda," British and Foreign Medical Review. 



850 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



five die in infancy ;* but the birth rate is unusually high, and the population has 
not only not decreased since the middle of last century, but the island has even 
dispatched a few emigrants to Australia. The Hebrides likewise differ from the 
neighbouring mainland in their sanitary condition. It is asserted by medical 
men that natives of the Hebrides are not subject to consumption unless they 
quit their homes and imbibe the germs of the disease elsewhere. It is believed 

Fig. 174. — Staffa: View taken fkom the top of a Cliff. 





that this immunity is due to the acrid smoke of peat which they breathe in their 

confined cabins. 

Igneous rock occurs only at a single spot on the island of Lewis, t but is 

abundant on the islands contiguous to the mainland. The finest columns of basalt 

may be seen on the small Eigg Island, to the south of Rum. The " Scuir " of 

Eigg (1,272 feet) presents on its sea face a row of columns 470 feet in height, 

* Geo. Seton, " St. Kilda, Past and Present." 

t For the geology of Scotland see Geikie's elaborate Map, published in 1876. 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 



351 



and rising like a temple above a foundation of rock, in which are embedded the 
petrified remains of a forest of pines. The sands at the foot of this Scuir 
occasionally give forth a long-drawn musical sound when walked upon— a 
phenomenon similar to what may be witnessed on some beaches of Pomerania, in 
the desert of Atacama, and on the slopes of Mount Sinai.* 

The large island of MulL, separated by the Sound of Mull and the Firth of 
Lome from the mainland of Argyll, is almost wholly formed of volcanic rocks, 
which occasionally rise in regular steps. Numerous rivulets, born in the interior 
of the island, and fed by its plentiful moisture, hasten towards the sea, and form 
foaming catai-acts on their onward course. Ben More (3,172 feet), the great 

Fig. 175.— The ExTEraoR of Fingal's Cave.* 




mountain of the island, as well as the principal summits along the Sound of 
Mull, consists of trap ; but the south-western arm of the island terminates in 
an enormous promontory of granite, the quarries on the face of which look like 
mere scratches when seen from afar. On the western side of Mull lies the famous 
island of Staffa, whose cave, discovered, as it were, by Sir Joseph Banks in 1772, 
has been dedicated by the admirers of Ossian to Fingal. This cavern deservedly 
ranks amongst the wonders of the world. The island rises to a height of about 
150 feet. Its surface is covered with luxuriant grass, and on all sides it is 
bounded by cliffs of columnar basalt. On turning round a cape we suddenly 
* Hugh Miller, " Summer Rambles among the Hebrides." 



352 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



find ourselves in front of a " pillar'd vestibule " leading into a cavern, whose 
fretted vault is supported by columns of basalt. When the sea is tranquil, the 
billows, rolling over the lower pillars, urge their way up the receding sides of 
this great temple. The murmuring, moaning noises produced by succeeding 
suro-es in regular cadence account for the Gaelic name of the cave, which is 
Llaimh Binse, or ''Cave of Music." But when the sea is lashed into fury the 
gentle music becomes a terrible turmoil, and the compressed air, rushing from the 
cave, produces a sound like thunder, which can be heard several miles off, on 
the island of Mull. 

The rocks of Dubh Artach form the south-western extremity of the archipelago, 
of which Mull is the chief member. They, as well as the Skerryvore— or rather 

Fig. 176. — The Head of Loch Fyne. 
Scale 1 : 20.000. 




Sgir More ; that is, " Great Eocks " — rising upon a submarine plateau stretching 
away from the gneissic islands of Coll and Tiree, are pointed out from afar by a 
lofty lighthouse. The Tower of Skerryvore is a rival to the famous lighthouses 
of Eddystone and Bell Rock, and the difficulties over which its engineer, Alan 
Stevenson, has triumphed were, perhaps, even greater than in the case of the 
other two, as the power of the waves in these seas is sufficient to lift a block of 
stone weighing 42 tons. 

To the south of the Firth of Lome there extends another chain of islands, 
formed, like the neighbouring coast, of Silurian rocks. This chain includes 



NOETHEEN SCOTLAND. 353 

Jura— or rather Diura ; that is, " Stag Island " *— and Islay, the one covered with 
lofty mountains rising to a height of 2,566 feet, the other the most fertile and 
best cultivated of the Hebrides, and rich in metals. The narrow " sound " which 
separates these islands from the peninsula of Kintyre is navigable, but owing to 
its swift tidal currents it is dangerous to small vessels. Two of these currents 
meet between Jura and the small island of Scarba, producing a tide of double 
height. The passage of this strait is attended with p^ril when the tide changes, 
more especially if the wind blows in a direction contrary to its current and 
towards the rocks. At such times no vessel would venture to approach this 
fearful "race," which the Gaels very appropriately call Coirebhreacain, or 
Corryvrekan ; that is, *' Caldron of the Sea." The velocity of the current is 
variously estimated at 10 or 13 miles, f Of all the currents in the seas of Scotland 
that of Coirebhreacain is most dreaded ; in its violence it is the equal of the more 
famous maelstrom amongst the Norwegian Lofoten. 

We already know something of the character of the climate of Northern 
Scotland. Essentially maritime, even more so than that of Southern England, 
it is also very damp and of surprising equability. The atmosphere is nearly 
always saturated with moisture, at least on the western coast, where the clouds, 
arrested by the high mountains, almost incessantly descend in rain or snow, the 
latter, however, but rarely remaining long upon the ground. Rain falls at 
all seasons of the year, destroying the rocks and swelling the mosses of the bogs. 
Scotland is most emphatically a land of mists, through which the heroes of 
Ossian loom like fleeting shadows. In the songs of the bards Skye is the 
" Island of Clouds," Mull the " Island of Gloom," whilst the northern navigators 
knew the sea around the Orkneys as the Libersee, or " Viscous Ocean." The 
Gaels have five elements, for to fire, water, earth, and air they add mist. 

The great contrast between the long nights of winter and the long days of 

summer is compensated by its equability of temperature. Even in the Orkneys, 

in the fifty-ninth degree of latitude, mariners may reckon in summer upon a 

hundred successive days on which print may easily be read at midnight, whilst 

in winter there occurs an equal number of very short days followed by a long 

night, occasionally lit up by the aurora borealis. The winds are high, and storms 

frequent ; but though the atmosphere be ever so much agitated, its temperature is 

nearly always the same. The mean annual temperature in the Scotch islands 

amounts to 45° Fahr., while that of winter is about 40° Fahr. The dark months 

pass away without frost ; but the summers have no heat, and the year, as a whole, 

is, so to speak, of a neutral complexion. + Several southern plants requiring only 

moisture and mild winters flourish in Scotland, and on the margins of the lakes 

of Sutherland fuchsias grow in the open air. But in the Orkneys the heat 

of summer is not sufiicient for most of our vegetables; trees do not grow 

spontaneously ; and even the service-tree and ash succeed only under careful shelter 

of walls. But though the surface of the islands be barren and naked, the sea 

* MacCulloch, " A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland." 

t Athenmwn, 26th August, 1864. 

X Charles Martins ; Gast. de Saporta, Revue des Deux-Mondes, July 1st, 1871. 



354 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

which surrounds them abounds in animal and vegetable life. The margins of 
beaches and rocks are covered with fucus, harbouring a multitude of molluscs and 
other animals, for the most part of a boreal type ; several kinds of seaweed, such 
as Rodomenia palmata and Iridma cduHs, form part, under the name of *' dulse," of 
the alimentary resources of the country. Loch Fyne, one of the ramifications of the 
Firth of Clyde, is famous for its herring fisheries, whilst nearly every river yields 
salmon. Several varieties of this fish are of American origin. Pearls likewise are 
fished up from the Scottish rivers, and have become fashionable. Altogether the 
produce of the fisheries amounts to at least £5,000,000 sterling per annum. 

The marine fauna of the Shetland Islands is Norwegian rather than British. 
The same fish are caught there as near the Norwegian Lofoten. When, in the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Maassluis and Vlaardingen had attained the 
height of their prosperity, the sounds of Shetland were annually frequented by 800, 
1,000, 1,500, or even more Dutch " busses " of 80 tons each, and escorted by twenty 
men-of-war. This Dutch fishing fleet met in Bressay Sound, ofi" Lerwick, which 
became for the time one of the most bustling places in Europe. Swift " doggers " 
carried the first herrings taken to Holland. At the present day the fisheries in 
these seas are carried on almost exclusively by the British. 

All the four-footed animals of England are met with in Scotland, including even 
the wild cat, which, however, has become scarce in the Highlands. About the middle 
of the twelfth century the land fauna of Northern Scotland possessed a feature 
in common with Scandinavia, which is now wanting. At that time the reindeer 
still roamed through the forests of Caithness, where reindeer moss abounds even 
now, and according to the sagas the Earls of Orkney annually crossed the sea to 
hunt that animal and the red deer. The great Scotch landowners still keep in 
their parks wild cattle which some claim to be representatives of the aurochs, but 
which zoologists declare to be merely a variety of our oxen. The stag is at present 
the only large animal indigenous to the Highlands, and though Lithuanian 
aurochsen, elks, American bufi'aloes, reindeer, and wapiti were introduced into the 
parks, and readily adapted themselves to the climate, most of them, owing to their 
viciousness, had to be killed. The capercailzie, a Swedish bird introduced in 
1837, has become common on the moors. The beaver, an ancient inhabitant of the 
country, has been imported into Bute, where it flourishes. 

The fauna grows poorer in species with a restriction of area ; it is less varied 
in Great Britain than on the continent, and suffers a further reduction in the 
Orkneys and Hebrides. Many animals found on the mainland have never crossed 
the sea into the neighbouring islands. Nowhere in these latter do we meet with 
molehills, indicating the existence of an underground population. Rabbits are 
unknown, as also were hares until recently. They have, however, become one of 
the chief resources of the Orkneys, compensating in some measure for the cessation 
in the export of seaweeds, which until 1832 were used in the manufacture of glass.* 
The white hare has been introduced by sportsmen into Lewis, and when first seen 
excited the fears of the natives, Avho took it for a phantom. St. Kilda has only 
* D. Gorrie, " Summers and Winters in the Orkney?." 



NOETHERN SCOTLAND. 355 

one wild mammal — the mouse ; even rats have not yet appeared there.* Various 
animals imported into the islands have grown smaller, owing to the influence of 
their surroundings. Amongst these are the spirited and indefatigable Shetland 
ponies, or shelties. Several birds, including the partridge, have, like rabbits and 
foxes, stopped short at the straits which separate the Scottish main from the 
Western Isles. Sea-birds, however, abound; for the rocky coasts of the Hebrides, 
Orkneys, and Shetland Islands present the same advantages as breeding grounds as 
do the cliffs of the mainland. In species no less than in individuals they are pro- 
digiously numerous, and the solan geese which perch on the rocks of St. Kilda have 
been estimated at 200,000. t Several sea-birds, including the common fulmar 
{Procellaria glaciaUs), breed only on certain islands. One species of bird has 
undoubtedly died out : we mean the great auk {Alca impennis) of the Orkneys, which 
has not been seen since 1824. Amongst the marvels of the islands, and more 
especially of the Orkneys, writers of the Middle Ages, and even zoologists of the 
last century, enumerate a curious shell which grows into a tree, and bears ducks 
and geese instead of fruit. This strange fable may be traced even through the 
earliest volumes of the Philosophical Tranmctions, and Linnaeus himself alludes to it 
when he calls a species of cirripede an anatifer, or " duck-bearer." 



The People. 

Who were the earliest inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands ? Of what race 
were the Picts, who formerly inhabited the country, and over whom even the 
Romans could not triumph ? Were they pure Celts, or had their blood already 
mingled with that of Scandinavians ? It is usually believed that the Picts had 
separated themselves from the other Britons at a very early age, and that their 
idioms differed much more from the dialects spoken in Gaul than did Cymraig. 
They originally inhabited, perhaps, the whole of Great Britain, and were pushed 
to the northward by the Britons, who in turn were displaced by Romans and 
Saxons. 

Numerous stone monuments, known as Picts' " houses," or weems, and invariably 
consisting of a chamber or centre passage surrounded by smaller apartments, are 
attributed to these aborigines. The mainland, and to a great extent the islands, 
abound in broughs, or borgs ; that is, towers of defence, resembling, at least 
externally, the niiraghe of Sardinia. On the Shetland Islands there are seventy- 
five of these towers, and in the Orkneys seventy. Petrie, who has examined 
forty of them, looks upon them as fortified dwelling-houses. Their circular 
walls are 12 feet and more in thickness ; their original height is not known, for 
every one of them has reached us in a partial state of demolition. Pestles for 
crushing corn, stone lamps, and vessels made of the bone of whales testify to the 
rudimentary state of civilisation which the inhabitants had attained. The Brough 
of Mousa, to the south of Lerwick, bulges out near its base, probably to prevent 

* Macaulay, "A Voyage to and History of St. Kilda." 
t G. Seton, "St. Kilda, Past and Present." 



356 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



the use of scaling-ladders, and recesses occur at regular intervals on the inside of 
the wall. Cromlechs, cairns, standing stones, symbolical sculptures, circles of 
stones, pile dwellings, and vitrified forts are found in several localities both on the 
mainland and the islands. Primitive monuments of this "kind form one of the 
most salient landscape features in the Orkneys. On Pomona there is a district of 
several square miles in area which still abounds in prehistoric monuments of every 
description, although many stones have been carried away by the neighbouring 
farmers. In the tumulus of Meashow, opened in 1861, were discovered over 
900 Runic inscriptions, and the carved images of fanciful animals. On the same 
island are the standing stones of Stennis ; and on Lewis, 12 miles to the west of 



Fig. 177.— The Standing Stones of Stennis. 





Stornoway, the *' grey stones of Callernish." These latter, forty-eight in number, 
are also known as Tuirsachan, or " Field of Mourning," and they still form a perfect 
circle, partly buried in peat, which has grown to a height of from 6 to 12 feet 
around them.* We know that these constructions belong to different ages, and 
that now and then the stones raised by the earliest builders were added to by their 
successors. Christian inscriptions in oghams and runes in characters not older, 
according to Miinch, than the beginning of the twelfth century, have been 
discovered on these monuments. At Newton, in Aberdeenshire, there is a stone 
inscribed in curiously shaped letters, not yet deciphered. 

* Wilson, "Prehistoric Annah of Scotland." 



NORTHERN SCOTLAND. 



357 



Notwithstanding a change of religion, these sacred places of the ancient inha- 
bitants still attract pilgrims. On South Uist the people until recently walked in 
procession around a huge pile of rocks, turning thrice in following the apparent 
path of the sun. The small island of lona, at the western extremity of Mull, is 
one of those places which have been held sacred for generations. Various stone 
monuments prove that this spot was held in veneration at the dawn of history, 
and this probably induced the Irish apostle, St. Columba, to found here a monastery 
— the " light of the western world " — which soon becam6 the most famous in Great 
Britain. Hence went forth those ascetic Culdees whom the jealousy of the 
clergy caused to disappear in the course of the thirteenth century.* In the ruined 
ecclesiastical buildings of this islet are buried more than sixty Kings of Scotland, 
Ireland, and the Hebrides, the last interred here having been Macbeth. A 
prophecy says that one day the whole earth will be swallowed up by a deluge, with 
the exception of lona. There was a time when this venerated island was 
interdicted to women, as Mount Athos is at the present day. Not far from the 
church lay the " black stones," thus called on account of the malediction attach- 
ing to him who forswore himself by their side. It was here that the *' Lords 
of the Isles," kneeling on the ground with their hands raised to heaven, were 
bound to swear to maintain intact the rights of their vassals. f Among the heaps 
of rocks piled up on the beach, it is said by monks in expiation of their trespasses, 
are found fine fragments of granite, porphyry, and serpentine, which the inha- 
bitants employ Scotch workmen to cut and polish, in order that they may sell them 
as amulets to their visitors. Formerly these stones were looked upon throughout 
the Hebrides as the most efficacious medicine against sorcery ; and when about 
to be married a bridegroom, to insure happiness, placed a stone of lona upon his 
bare left foot.+ 

The Scotch Highlanders are more or less mixed with Scandinavians, for the 
Northmen, who for centuries held possession of the Orkneys, gained a footing 
also upon the mainland, where they founded numerous colonies. Scandinavian 
family names are frequent in the Orkneys, but the type of the inhabitants is 
nevertheless Scotch. § The geographical nomenclature of the Shetland Isles is 
wholly Norwegian. The names of farms terminate in seter or der^ and those of 
hills in hoy or hole. In 1820 the sword dance of the ancient Norwegians might 
still be witnessed on one of the islands, and according to Gifford,|| Norse was 
spoken in a few families as recently as 1786. Sutherland clearly formed part of 
the old domain of the Northmen. That county lies at the northern extremity of 
Scotland ; but to the inhabitants of the Orkneys it was a Southern land, and the 
name which they gave to it has survived to our own time. 

A few Scandinavian colonies on the mainland have retained their distinct 
character. As an instance we may mention the village of Ness on Lewis, the 

* Jameson, " History of the Culdees.'' 

t Forbes Leslie, " Early Races of Scotland." 

X Mercey, Revue des Deux-Mondes, September, 183B. 

^ Hugh Miller, " Footprints of the Creator." 

II •' Historical Description of Zetland." 



358 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



inhabitants of which are distinguished for their enterprise, presenting a singular 
contrast to the sluggishness of their Gaelic neighbours. The descendants of 
these hostile races have, like oil and water, long refused to mingle. It 
would nevertheless be next to impossible to define the boundaries between the 
various races throughout the country. Language certainly would prove no safe 
guide, for many of the Gaels have given up their language and speak English. 
Out of 3,500,000 Scotchmen only 250,000 are able to express themselves 

Fig. 178. — Linguistic Map of Scotland. 

According to E. G Ravenstein. 




Proportion of Gaelic-speaking Inhabitants 



25 to 50 
per cent. 



50 to JX) 
per cent. 



Over 90 
per cent. 



in Gaelic, and of these only 49,000 are ignorant of English.* As to the Scandi- 
navians, not one amongst their descendants now speaks Old Norse. The greater 
number of them speak English, but many, too, have adopted Gaelic. In most of the 
islands the names of places are Danish, although Gaelic has for centuries been the 
spoken language. Even in St. Kilda, remote as is its situation, an intermingling 
of Gaels and Northmen has been recognised. f The use of Celtic was discon- 

* E. G-. Ravenstein, " On the Celtic Languages in the British Isles." 
t Sands, " Out of the World, or Life in St. Kilda." 



NOETHERN SCOTLAND. 



359 



tinued at the court of Scotland about the middle of the eleventh century, and is 
doomed to disappear. Far poorer in its literature and less cultivated than Welsh, 
its domain diminishes with every decade, for English is now almost universally 
spoken in the towns, and the Highland valleys are becoming depopulated, or 
invaded by Saxon sportsmen and graziers. If Caledonia really stands for Gael- 
Bun, or " Mountain of the Gael," then its limits are becoming narrower every 
time the meshes of the network of railroads are drawn tighter. But though 
Celtic may disappear as a spoken language, the geographical nomenclature of 
Scotland will for all time bear witness to its ancient domination. Those 
acquainted with Gaelic may obtain a tolerably correct notion of the relief of the 
ground by merely studying the names upon a map. Names like ben, earn, carr, 
carragh, cnoc, creag, cruach, dun, mam, meal, monadh, sguir, sith, sithean, stob, stuc, 
tolm, torr, tullich, and sliahh will suggest to their minds variously shaped moun- 
tains ; eye, i, and innis denote islands ; linne and loch represent lakes or gulfs ; 
ahh, ahhuinn, uisge, esk, and biiinne stand for rivers or torrents. Tnver in the 
west, and Aher in the east, indicate the mouths of rivers. The name Albainn, 
Albe'inn, or Albion, by which the Gaels were formerly designated, is now applied 
to all Britain. The Gaelic bards spoke of their fellow-countrymen by preference 
as Albannaich, or " Mountaineers."* The Albannaich of the Grampians and the 
Albanians of the Pindus are thus known by a similar name, having in all 
probability the same meaning. 

The translation of one of John Knox's religious works was the first book printed 
in Gaelic, and thus, as in Wales, the Reformation conferred upon the language of 
the people an importance which it had not possessed before. But whilst in Wales 
religious zeal, through its manifestations in the pulpit and the press, has contributed 
in a large measure to keep alive the native idiom, the division of the Highlanders into 
Catholics and Protestants has resulted in a diminution of the collective patriotism 
of the people, as it reveals itself in language. Catholics are numerous in the 
county of Inverness, and it merely depended upon the chief of a clan whether 
his followers remained true to the old faith or embraced the new. Canna and 
Eigg are the only Hebrides the inhabitants of which remained Catholics. Those 
of the larger island of Eum, it is said, hesitated what to do, when the chief of 
the MacLeods, armed with a yellow cudgel, threw himself in the way of a 
procession marching in the direction of the Romish church, and drove the faith- 
ful to the temple which he patronised. Hence Protestantism on that island is 
known to the present day as the religion of the yellow cudgel. f But notwith- 
standing these changes of religion, many superstitions survive amongst the people. 
In Lewis " stone " and " church " are synonymous terms, as they were in the time 
when all religious ceremonies were performed around sacred megaliths. + 

The fame of the Highlanders had been sung by poets and novelists, until 
they came to be looked upon as typical for bravery, loyalty, and all manly virtues 

* Forbes Leslie, " Early Races of Scotland." 

t Dr. Johnson, " Tour in the Western Hebrides." 

I Anderson Smith, " Lewisiana." 



360 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

The soldiers, in their strange and showy garb, have so frequently won distinc- 
tion upon the field of battle that all their panegyrists said about their native 
virtues was implicitly believed ; and on the faith of poets we admired their 
pipers, the successors of the ancient bards, who accompanied their melancholy 
chants on the harp. In reality, however, the Highlanders, until recently, were 
warlike herdsmen, as the Montenegrins, Mirdits, and Albanians are even now, 
always at enmity with their neighbours. It was only after forts had been built at 
the mouths of the valleys, and military roads constructed through their territories, 
that they were reduced to submission. The members of each family were closely 
united, and, like American Eedskins, they had their war-cries, badges, and distinctly 
patterned tartans. The people were thus split up into about forty clans, or, 
including the Lowland families, into about one hundred, and several of these 
clans consisted of more than 10,000 individuals.* The members of each clan, 
though sometimes only cousins a hundred times removed, all bore the same 
name, and they fought and worked together. The land was originally held in 
common, being periodically divided amongst the clan. The honour of the 
tribe was dear to every one of its individual members, and an injury done to 
one amongst them was avenged by the entire community. When the Kings 
of Scotland had to complain of a Highland chief, they attacked his clan, for they 
well knew that every member of it would embrace the cause of the chief. There 
existed no courts of justice in the Highlands, but blood was spilt for blood. 
Various monuments recall such acts of savage vengeance, and as recently as 1812 
a Highland family set up seven grinning heads as a trophy to commemorate a 
sevenfold murder committed by its ancestors. A cavern on Eigg Island is 
strewn with human bones, the relics of the ancient inhabitants of the island, 
200 in number, who are said to have been sufibcated within the cavern by a neigh- 
bouring chief, MacLeod, in retaliation for some private injury. t 

As long as every member of the community possessed a share in the land 
Scotland was spared the struggle between rich and poor. But by the close of 
the eighteenth century the poorer members of the clan, though still claiming 
cousinship with their chiefs, had lost all proprietary rights in the land, and the 
lairds, when remonstrated with by the clan, responded in the words of the device 
adopted by the Earls of Orkney, "Sic fuit, est, et erit ! " They were even then able 
to drive away the ancient inhabitants from the plots of land they occupied, in order 
that they might transform them into pasturing or shooting grounds. Several 
landlords even burnt down the cabins of their poor *' cousins," thus compelling 
them to leave the country. Between 1811 and 1820, 15,000 tenants were thus 
chased from the estates of the Duchess of Stafford. Entire villages were given up 
to the flames, and on a single night 300 houses might have been seen afire. 
Nearly the whole population of four parishes was in this way driven from its 
homes. Since the middle of the century about 1,000,000 acres in the Highlands 
have been cleared of human beings and sheep to be converted into shooting 

* Principal Highland clans in 1863 :— MacGregors, 36,000; MacKenzies, 21,000; MacLeans, 
16,0.00; MacLeods, 14,000; Macintoshes, 11,000; MacDonalds, 10,000. 
t Hugh Miller, " Cruise of the Betsy." 



NORTHEEN SCOTLAND. 3gl 

grounds.* Thus, contrary to what may be usually witnessed in civilised countries, 
the Higliland valleys are returning to a state of nature, and wild beasts taking the 
place of domesticated animals. The country, formerly almost bare of trees, has been 
largely planted, and from Black Mount in Argyllshire to Marr Forest in Aberdeen 
there now extends an almost unbroken belt of verdure. Already the shootino- 
grounds cover over 2,000,000 acres, and they are continually extending. Scotland 
has emphatically become a sporting country, and many ^ a large estate is managed 
as a shooting ground, that proving more profitable to its proprietor than would its 
cultivation. There are not wanting sportsmen willing to pay £400 for a salmon 
stream, £1,000 for the right of shooting over a moor, or £4,000 for a deer park. 
With these rents a salmon may cost £8, and a stag £40. f 

Scotland, even more than England, is a land of wide demesnes. Twenty-one 
individuals share between them the third of the kingdom, 70 the half, and 1,700 
nine-tenths of it. The Duke of Sutherland alone owns about the fifteenth 
part of Scotland, including nearly the whole county from which he derives his 
title. Domains of such vast extent cannot be properly cultivated, and heaths and 
swamps which would repay the labour bestowed upon them by peasant proprietors 
are allowed by their wealthy owners to remain in a state of nature. 

In the Orkneys a portion of the land is still owned by odallers, or peasant 
proprietors ; but the Shetland Islands and several of the Hebrides, including Lewis, 
the largest amongst them, belong to a single proprietor, who thus disposes 
indirectly of the lives of the inhabitants, whom he can compel to abandon their 
homes whenever it suits his interests. Several islands, such as Barra and Rum, 
which formerly supported a considerable population, have in this way become 
almost deserts ; and amongst the inhabitants left behind there are even now 
many who live in a state of extreme poverty, who look upon carrageen, or Iceland 
moss, as a luxury, and who are dependent upon seaweeds and fish for their daily 
sustenance. Owing to the inferiority of the food, dyspepsia is a common complaint, 
and certain physicians declare that the gift of ** second sight,'' which plays so 
prominent a part in the history of the Highlanders, is traceable to a disorder of 
the organs of digestion. The villages of Lewis are perhaps unique of their kind 
in Europe. The inhabitants gather the stones embedded in the peaty soil to 
construct rough concentric walls, filling the space between them with earth and 
gravel. A scaffolding made of old oars and boughs supports a roof covered with 
earth and peat, leaving a wide ledge on the top of the circular wall, upon which 
vegetation soon springs up, and which becomes the favourite promenade and play- 
ground of children, dogs, and sheep. A single door gives access to this unshapely 
abode, within which a peat fire is kept burning throughout the year, in order that 
the damp which perpetually penetrates through the wall and roof may evaporate. 
Horses, cows, and sheep, all of diminutive stature, owing to their want of nourish- 
ment, occupy one extremity of this den, while the fowls roost by the side of the human 
inhabitants, or perch near the hole left for the escape of the smoke. To strangers 

* Husrh Miller, " Sutherland as it Was and Is." 

t In 1877 2,060 shooting grounds in Scotland were let for £600,000. (Official Journal, November 
m.l877.) j^^_^ 



362 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



the heat and smoke of these dwellings are intolerable, but the former is said to favour 
the laying of eggs.* Such are the abodes of most of the inhabitants of Lewis ! 
Yet the claims to comfort have increased since the commencement of the nineteenth 
century, and a porringer is no longer looked upon as a veritable curiosity. 

Topography. 

Perthshire is eminently a border county, for whilst the whole of its north- 
western portion is occupied by spurs of the Grampians, the south-eastern and 
smaller section of the county lies within the Lowlands. The line which divides 
the Silurian rocks of the Highlands from the red sandstone formation, spread over 



Fig. 179.— Perth. 
Scale 1 : 120,000. 



















b."^ 


, 


^^r:^t^, ' -^a^ 






ml 


Vs. ^ 














j^^ 








Perthn 




iV"' ' ^^'^^^. :*Ar«(^^>«^'' ' 












1^^^^ 




29~R^^P 






1; '*^'^^fc/''" "'"'"' 


-El- 






Y%s 


'^M^ 


Ig 


I^CoS^ 




u^',.,/'A 




*^ 


w^'- \ ^^**><L >^ ( c -^^^^■B 










3-25 3-20' WofGi 





2 Miles. 



Strathmore and the hilly region intervening between that vale and the Forth, is 
drawn as with a ruler. It marks at once a physical and an ethnical boundary, for 
it nearly coincides with the line which separates the Gaelic-speaking Highlanders 
from the men of Saxon tongue. In the south-east the Ochill and Sidlaw Hills 
divide Perthshire from the maritime region, and it is through a gorge in these 
ranges of igneous rock that the Tay, the principal river of the county, finds its 
way into the Firth of Forth. 

The Carse of Gower, a fertile alluvial tract extending along the northern shore 
of the Firth of Tay, forms part of Perthshire, and within it lies the village of 
Errol. Abernethy, supposed to have been the capital of a Pictish kingdom, but 

* Anderson Smith, *' Lewisiana." 



PERTHSHIEE. g^.^ 

now a small village on the road leading over the Ochills, is interesting to archaeo- 
logists on account of its round tower. Crossing the Lower Earn at the villao-e of 
Bridge of Earn, a rival of Bridge of Allan, we soon reach Perth, formerly a Roman 
station, afterwards the capital of Scotland, and still a town of considerable note. 
Seated at the head of the navigation of the Tay, and in the gorge which presented 
the only easy means of communication between Fife and the fertile Strathmore 
its geographical position is admirable. In our own days Perth has become a 
manufacturing town, with flax-mills, bleaching and dye works, woollen factories 
glass houses, and engineering shops, but the charms of its environs are as great as 
ever. Scone Palace, a modern mansion in the neighbourhood, stands on the site 
of a palace of the Kings of Scotland. The famous stone on which the Scotch 
monarchs were crowned was kept in Scone Abbey, now in ruins, until Edward I. 
transferred it to Westminster Abbey. 

Glen Almond joins the Tay above Perth. Within it lie the manufacturing 
village of Methren, and Trinity College for the education of clergymen of the 
Episcopal Church of Scotland. Continuing up the winding Tay, we pass Stanley, 
with its cotton-mill; obtain a glimpse of Dunsinane, where Macbeth (1056) 
lost the battle which cost him his throne ; and reach the mouth of the Isla, which 
flows through a part of Strathmore, and is fed by the Ericht and other rivers 
descending from the Highlands. Blairgowrie, Cupar- Angus, and Alyth, the only 
towns of this district, are engaged in the linen trade. 

Bunkeld, beautifully seated on the Tay, enclosed by trees, above which 
peep forth the ruins of its noble cathedral, lies on the threshold of the High- 
lands, not far beyond the boundary which separates the red sandstone from 
the Silurian slates. Near it are Birnam Wood and the newly planted grounds of 
the Duke of Athol. Seven miles above it, at Logierait, the Tay receives the 
tribute of the Tummel. The Tay rises to the south-west, at the foot of Ben 
Lui (3,708 feet), and successively flows through Loch Dochart — to the south of 
which Ben More (3,818 feet) raises its head — and Loch Tay, by the foot of 
gloomy Ben Lawers (3,984 feet). The district drained by its upper course is 
known as Breadalbane, whose lordly owner has a princely seat at Taymouth 
Castle, at the foot of Loch Tay. In one of its wildest recesses are the lead mines 
of Tyndrum. The Tummel, after having received the tribute of Lochs Luydan 
and Errocht, flows through Glen Garroch, purifying its floods in Lochs Eannoch 
and Tummel, and forms an attractive waterfall before its junction with the Garry. 
This latter is the principal river of Athol. A short distance above the confluence 
it forces itself a passage through the famous gorge of Killiecrankie, above which 
the Highland clans, in 1689, inflicted so severe a defeat upon the royal forces. 
Blair-Athol, at the junction of Glen Tilt with the Upper Glen Garry, rises in the 
midst of the wildest mountain scenery. Two roads diverge from it : one leads 
up gloomy Glen Tilt, and past Cairn Gower (3,671 feet) into Aberdeenshire ; the 
other, accompanied by a railway, continues up Glen Garry, and crosses the Pass of 
Drumouchter into Inverness- shire. In the great " forest " of Athol 130,000 acres 
are set apart for grouse and deer- stalking. 



864 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

The river Earn rises in Loch Earn, and joins the Tay below Perth. In its 
lower valley, but at some distance from the river, is Auchterarder. Higher up, 
and surrounded by beautifully wooded hills, is Crieff, a small town engaged in 
the cotton, linen, and woollen trades, with an obelisk in honour of Sir David 
Baird. The village of Comrie, on the line of division between the old red sand- 
stone and the Silurian rocks, is stated to suffer frequently from earthquakes. 

The south-western portion of Perthshire is drained by the Forth and its 
tributary Teith. The Forth rises at the eastern foot of Ben Lomond (3,123 feet), 
and in its lower course washes the district of Menteith, with a beautiful lake 
embosomed in wooded hills. At Stirling it is joined by the Allan, flowing 
through a strath of the same name, in which is seated the picturesque town of 
Dunblane, with the remains of a fine cathedral and mineral springs, which make 
it a rival of the Stirlingshire town of Bridge of Allan, lower down on the same 
river. The Teith flows past the small town of Doune, near which, at Deanston, is 
a large cotton- mill. At Callender the wild gorge of the Trossachs, which leads 
up to Loch Katrine, whence Glasgow draws its water, and the entrance to which 
is guarded by Ben Ledi (3,009 feet), branches off" to the right, whilst Strath Ire 
comes down from the northward. Following it we reach Balqtihidder, the burial- 
place of Rob Roy, and the braes rendered famous by his exploits. 

There still remains to be noticed a small detached portion of Perthshire on 
the Firth of Forth, within which lie the small port of Kincardine and the fishing 
village of C (dross, with the ruins of an abbe3\ 

Forfarshire, or Angus, is bounded on the north by the Binchinnin 
Mountains, which are a section of the Grampians, and extend from Glas Miel 
(3,502 feet) to Mount Battock (2,554 feet). The southern slope of this range, 
which is furrowed by Glen Isla, Glen Esk, and Glen Mark, is known as the Braes 
of Angus, and abuts upon the fertile Strathmore, which occupies the centre of the 
county, and is separated from the Firth of Tay and the North Sea by the Sidlaw 
Hills (1,134 feet). 

Dundee extends for several miles along the northern shore of the Tay, here 
nearly 2 miles in width, which did not prevent our engineers from throwing a 
railway bridge across it. Unfortunately, during a severe gale in December, 
1879, the structure was precipitated into the Tay, together with a railway train 
hastening across it at the time. Dundee is an ancient city, which has been frequently 
besieged and taken. It was the first town in Scotland to sever its connection 
with Rome, and the religious ardour of its citizens converted it into a second 
Geneva. It is the most populous town in Northern Scotland, and the first in the 
United Kingdom for flax, jute, and hemp spinning and weaving, its factories in 
these branches alone employing more than 50,000 operatives. But, in addition to 
this, there are engineering works, ship-yards, and other industrial factories, and 
200,000 cwts. of marmalade are made every year. For the last century the 
mariners of Dundee have pursued the high-sea fisheries with varying success, but 
on the whole not without profit, for at the present day they almost monopolize the 
whale fisheries in Baffin's Bay and the seal fisheries in the Greenland Sea. The 



wMmEmrsEW 't ' wwjwn iiiiiiiiiii 





W*W..li.'i'iilil "1 a.L,S^,M^.P ^, 




FORFAESHIEE. 



365 



commerce of Dundee is commensurate with its industry, and nearly all the 



raw 




materials consumed in its numerous factories are imported in Dundee bottoms. 



368 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



whicli traverses Formatin ; and those of the Upper Doveran, with the Bogie, 
which drains Strathbogie. The north-eastern portion of the county is known 
as Buchan, and supplies London with its finest beef. Granite and marble abound, 
but neither coal nor metals are found, and the manufacturing industry is of little 
importance. 

Aberdeen occupies a geographical position at the outlet of the valleys of the 
Dee and Don, along which latter leads the natural high-road to Moray Firth, 
which amply accounts for its early growth into a prosperous city. Its harbour was 
frequented at a time when Edinburgh and Glasgow were mere villages, and for 



Fig. 183.— Aberdeen. 
Scale 1 : 104.000 



WofP. 



,^' 30 



4°Q5 




W.ofGr. 



Q°IO' 



Q°5' 



— 1 Mile. 



centuries it has carried on a brisk trade with Northern Europe, the Low Countries, 
and France. Old Aberdeen is a long street to the north of the commercial quarter 
of the modern town, and, owing to its greater antiquity, can boast the most 
interesting edifices, including the remains of a cathedral of the fourteenth century, 
and the more ancient of the two colleges which jointly form the university. The 
modern town is seated at the mouth of the Dee, which was formerly the only harbour 
of the town, but has been supplemented by spacious docks, its entrance being at 
the same time protected by piers. The export trade is partly fed by Aberdeen's 
own industry, for there are flax, cotton, and woollen mills, engineering factories, 
foundries, soap and chemical works, india-rubber and gutta-percha works, and 



ABERDEENSHIRE. 



369 



important ship-yards for the construction of fast-sailing clippers and iron steamers. 
Quarries are worked in the neighbourhood, and the yards in which granite and 
marble are polished have not tbeir equal elsewhere in Great Britain. Among 
the exports are also strawberries, vegetables, and cattle. 

The upper valley of the Dee is much frequented by tourists, on account of 



Fig. 184. — Balmoral. 
From the Ordnance Map. Scale 1 : 63,000'! 




iMUe. 



its picturesque scenery, but it is a mere pastoral and sporting region without 
towns. Ballater, the principal of its villages, has mineral springs ; above it is 
the sumptuous royal castle of Balmoral; and still deeper amongst the hills the 



370 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



hamlet of Cadleton'in-Bmemar. Nor can the basin of the Don boast populous 
towns. Inverurie, which a canal joins to Aberdeen, exports corn and cattle, as 
does also Old Meldrum, on the heights to the east of it ; whilst Kintore, lower 
down on the river, trades in limestone and granite. Newhurgh, at the mouth of 



Fig. 185. — Peterhead and Fraserburgh. 
Scale 1 : 200,000. 



4°Q0 



4° 10 



WofR 




WcfGr. 



Depth under 13 Fathoms. 



13 to 26 Fathoms 
_^__ 2 MHes. 



O s-ei- 26 Fathoms. 



the Ythan, is hardly more than a fishing village, but lovers of the picturesque 
will be delighted with a visit to Fyvie Castle, near the head of that river, one of 
the most sumptuous baronial mansions in Scotland. In the valley of the Doveran, 
on the western border of the county, are the small burghs of Turriff &^^ Euntly. 
both with castles and in picturesque surroundings, but not otherwise remarkable. 



INVERNESS. 871 

Far more populous, at least as regards its seaboard, is the district of Buchan. 
Here are Neiv Pitsligo and Stricken, in the interior of the county, both engaged 
in the cattle trade, and the prosperous seaport towns of Peterhead and Fraser- 
burgh, together with Rosehearti/ and other fishing villages. Peterhead is more 
especially engaged in the whale and seal fishery, and amongst its imports figures 
cryolite, obtained from the mines of Evigtok, in Greenland. Herrings are largely 
exported. 

Banffshire mainly consists of the western slope of the Cairngorm Mountains 
and their spurs, which stretch to the north-eastward from Ben Muich Dhui, on the 
borders of Aberdeen, and sink down towards Strathspey and its swift-flowing 
salmon-yielding river. Only a small fringe along the coast is capable of cultiva- 
tion. Here Bauf, the county town, occupies a beautiful site at the mouth of the 
Doveran, and besides engaging in the fisheries and carrying on a brisk commerce, 
it has flax-mills, stone-yards, manure works, engineering works, and a ship-yard. 
Dufl" House, the magnificent seat of the Earl of Fife, adjoins it. Portsoy, Cullen 
(with its three rocks), and Buckie are fishing villages. In the interior are Keith, 
on the Isla, a tributary of the Doveran, with important horse and cattle fairs, 
woollen and flax mills, and Dufftoivn, in a side valley of the Spey, with the 
cathedral church of Old Machar. 

Elginshire, or Moray, lies in the main between the Spey and the Findhorn, 
both rapid streams abounding in salmon. A spur of the Monadhliadh Mountains, 
which are formed of Silurian rock, fills up the centre of the count}^ ; but 
along the coast extends a belt of old red sandstone, where the soil is fruitful. 
Elgin, on the Lossie, 5 miles above Lossiemouth, has the ruins of a noble 
cathedral and a geological museum. Forres, on Findhorn Loch, is a quaint old 
town, with many gabled houses. Near it stands Sweno's Stone, an obelisk covered 
with curious carvings, probably intended to commemorate the expulsion of the 
Danes. Findhorn, Burghcad, and Garmouth are fishing villages, the latter at the 
mouth of the Spey, up which are Fochabers, with Castle Gordon, and Rothes. 

Nairnshire, a small county between the Findhorn (Strathdearn) and the 
Nairn, resembles Elginshire in its geological structure, except that the sand- 
stone nowhere reaches the coast, which is fringed with a tract of blown sand 
and alluvial soil. Nairn, the county town, is much frequented for sea-bathing. 
About 5 miles above it stands Cawdor Castle, a fine feudal stronghold of the 
fifteenth century, built on the site of that in which Macbeth murdered 
Duncan. 

Inverness, the laj-gest of the Highland counties, not only includes a con- 
siderable portion of the mainland, stretching from sea to sea, but also the 
large island of Skye and the whole of the Outer Hebrides, with the exception 
of Lewis. The great feature of the mainland is the huge cleft of Glenmore, 
between Inverness and Loch Eil (see p. 333). The northern declivity of this 
valley is occupied by Lochs Ness and Oich, upon which Glen Urquhart, Glen 
Moriston, and Glen Garry open from the w^estw^ard. The famous Foyers Falls 
are on the eastern side of Loch Ness, right opposite to the naked, hayrick-like 



872 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



summit of Mealfourvounie (3,060 feet). Loch Lochy, with its tributary, Loch 
Arkaig, drains the southern portion of the great glen, which is joined on the east 
by Glen Spean, to the north of which lies the district of Lochaber. The Pass of 
Corryarrick (1,864 feet) leads from Loch Ness, across a spur of the Monadh- 
liadh Mountains, into Strathspey, which forms the most marked feature of 



Fig. 186.— Firth of Inverness. 
From an Admiraitv Chait. Scale 1 : 150,000. 







igh Water T^&r C^SI^.iS^ Sprouts riseJ2/€ct. yeapjt 9i 



Eastern Inverness, and at whose head on the borders of Perth lies the moorland 
district of Badenoch. Northern Inverness is drained by Strathglass, which, 
fed by streams descending from Ben Attow and Mam Soul (3,861 feet), throws 
itself into Beauly basin. The water-parting lies close to the western coast, and 
the peninsular districts of Glenelg and Knoidart (Laorbein, 3,341 feet), Arasaig 
with Loch Morar), and Moidart (bounded by Loch Shiel) are of small extent. 



EOSS AND CEOMARTY. 873 

Excepting Inverness, there is no town or village in the county whose population 
exceeds 1,200 souls. Gaelic is still spoken by 83 per cent, of the population. 

If Inverness, the " capital " of the Highlands, could he suddenly transported 
6^ of latitude to the south, to a milder climate, it might become one of the great 
cities of the world ; for its geographical position upon a deep firth, and at the 
mouth of a cleft which crosses a whole kingdom from sea to sea, is exceptionally 
favourable. But the north of Scotland is too cold and inhospitable to give 
birth to a great city. Still Inverness is a town of noble appearance, and its 
commerce is not inconsiderable. The site of Macbeth's ancient castle is now 
occupied by a castellated court-house. Culloden Moor, upon which the fortunes of 
the royal house of Stuart were for ever wrecked, stretches along the Inverness 
Firth, below the town. Camjjbelltown, near the entrance to the Firth, which is 
guarded by Fort George, and Beauly, at the mouth of Strathglass, are merely 
villages. At Kirkhill, near the latter, is the county lunatic asylum. Fort 
Augustus, at the head of Loch Ness, has recently been converted into a Jesuit 
college ; whilst Fort William, at the southern terminus of the Caledonian Canal, 
has grown into the second town of the county. Near it are Banavie, the ruins of 
Inverlochy Castle, and a famous distillery which supplies the *' dew " off Ben Nevis, 
which looks down calmly from the other side of the valley. The villages of 
Kingussie and Newtonmore, in Strathspey, derive some importance from their 
position on the Highland Railway which connects Inverness with the basin of the 
Tay. It crosses the Pass of Drumouchter, or Dalwhinni (1,450 feet), between 
Badenoch and Athol. 

Portree, the capital of the Isle of Skye (see p. 347), is a small village on the 
steep side of a land-locked harbour. Near it is a stalactite cavern in which Prince 
Charles lay concealed for a time. 

The united shires of Boss and Cromarty stretch from sea to sea. Along their 
eastern seaboard lies a fertile tract of old red sandstone and alluvial soil, 
forming the peninsula of Black Isle, between Inverness and Cromarty Firths, and 
a second peninsula which terminates in Tarbat Ness, between the latter and 
Dornoch Firth. The bulk of the country consists, however, of sterile and almost 
deserted moorlands and mosses. The backbone of the Grampians runs nearer to 
the western than to the eastern shore, extending from Ben Attow northward 
through the Diresdh Mor, Ben Dearig (3,551 feet), and Badnagown Forest, 
or Freevater, to Ben More Assynt (3,281 feet), but towards the east there 
lies the bold mass of Ben Uaish, or Wyvis (3,425 feet), almost insulated. The 
western coast is indented with numerous lochs, chief amongst which are Loch 
Broom, to the north of the Gruinard district, on which stands the fishing village 
of XJllapool ; Loch Ewe, continued by the inland Loch of Maree, at whose head the 
Sleugach rises to a height of 4,000 feet ; the Gareloch ; Loch Torridon, with the 
village of Shieldag, one of the most remarkable on account of its land-locked inner 
basin ; Loch Carron, to the south of Applecross district, with the fishing village 
of Jeantown ; and Loch Alsh. The bulk of the population is, however, gathered 
along the eastern seaboard. Here, on the northern shore of Inverness Firth, are 



374 



THE BEITISH ISLES. 



Fortrose, with the poor remains of a cathedral, and Avoch. Cromarty guards the 
entrance to the firth of the same name, and has an excellent harbour. Invergordon and' 
Alness are villages on the northern side of the Firth; whilst Dingwall is at its head, 
and at the mouth of Strathpeffer, in the midst of wooded scenery, at the back of 
which rises the towering mass of Ben Wyvis. The district of Ferrindonald, or of 



Fig. 187. — Kirkwall. 
From an Admiralty Chart. Scale 1 : 150,000. 








Nr.j:^, 7 JO (3 



Jt 14. 13 



24 






iS J2 

,7 IS 

9 

J3 J. 



J.? 



'.^^-^ JO 






jS / ^^ -W 

JU D ^- - ^*^ 



. ,„ , . . .\utro 7 






4&^ 



r-. / 






SHAPINSHA. 







2 Miles. 



the clan Munro, which stretches along the northern shore of the Firth, has for 
centuries past produced a race distinguished for its military ardour. Tain, on the 
southern shore of Dornoch Firth, is rapidly losing its trade, owing to the filling up 
of its harbour with sand thrown up by the sea. 

Lewis forms part of Eoss, and here is Stornoway, the great fishing port. 



AEGYLLSHIRE. 



875 



Many lives are sacrificed in the pursuit of its great industry, one quarter of 
the town being mainly inhabited by the widows of fishermen, and hence known 
as Widows' Row. Swainsbost is a fishing village on the north-western coast of 
Lewis. 

Gaelic is still spoken throughout Ross, except in Black Isle, which was settled 
in the days of James VI. by people from the south. 

Sutherland is the wildest and most desolate of all the Highland counties, 
its only cultivable tract forming a narrow fringe along the coast of the North 
Sea. Oolitic limestones occur here, almost the only place where they are 



Fig. 188.— Stornoway. 

Scale 1 : 160,000. 




found in Scotland. The interior of the county is furrowed by deep glens filled 
with lochs, above which Ben More of Assynt, Ben Klibrech (3,160 feet), and 
other mountains rear their naked heads. Chief among these glens is that within 
which lies Loch Shin, and which drains eastward through the Kyles of Suther- 
land into the Dornoch Firth. Bonar, at the head of that loch, and Dornoch, 
the county town, are mere fishing villages. Golspie, near which rises the magni- 
ficent Dunrobin Castle; Brora, where coal is won and clay manufactured into 
bricks ; and Hehnsdale lie on the open North Sea. Portskerra, Tongue, Eddrachillis, 
and Lochinver are small hamlets on the north and west coasts, which would escape 
notice except in a country so thinly peopled. 



376 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



Caithness forms the north-eastern extremity of Great Britain, and near 
Duncansby Head stood John o' Groat's house, often proverbially alluded to. Yery 
different from the Highland counties, it is an old red sandstone country of undu- 
lating surface, for the greater part capable of cultivation, though still largely 



Fig. 189.— Lerwick. 
From an Admiralty Chart Scale 1 : 150,000. 









^ ."jrc 






H 









'"'J'VV.- 










'•'Jfead 



4 



T-^ A, 



S' 



■Jf 3* 






+ 



2 Miles. 



covered with moors and marshes. It differs, too, in its population, Gaelic being 
spoken only in the interior. Wick, on the east coast, is the principal town, 
and one of the chief seats of the herring fishery, which also occupies the bulk of 
the people of Thurso, on the northern shore. Both these towns possess excellent 
harbours. Smaller fishing villages are Lyhster, Canisbai/ (with a castle of the 




PASS OF GLENCOE. 



ARGYLLSHIRE. ^jj 

Earl of Caithness), and Castletown. Halkirk is the only village in the interior of 
the county. 

The Orkneys and Shetland Isles (see p. 346) jointly form one county, whose 
chief town, Kirhcall, lies on Pomona, the " mainland " of the Orkneys. It is not 
a town of great population, but in its cathedral of St. Magnus, founded in the 
twelfth century, it possesses a unique specimen of Scandinavian architecture 
not unlike the cathedral of Trondhjem, in Norway. Stromness, on the western 
side of the Mainland, where its scenery is most beautiful, has a natural-history 
museum of some importance. St. Margaret's Hope is the principal village on 
South Ronaldsha. 

Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands, has an excellent harbour, but its 
trade is less than that of Kirkwall. Amongst its exports figure articles of 
hosiery and various woollen stuffs, which the women make in the long winter 
nights. 

Argyllshire, the most southern of the Highland counties, and the only one 
which lies wholly upon the western slope of the island, consists of a number of penin- 
sulas and almost insulated land masses, separated by lochs and glens. Ardnamur- 
chan advances its bold basaltic foreland far into the waves of the Atlantic to the 
north of Loch Sunart. Along the western side of Loch Linnhe lie Ardgower and 
Morven, almost severed by the deep Glen Tarbert, and separated by a narrow arm 
of the sea from the lofty island of Mull. On the eastern side lies the district of 
Lome, pierced by Loch Etive, which receives the emissary of the inland Loch 
Awe, escaping through a succession of gorges. Loch Levin is farther north. 
Ballachulish, on its southern shore, is famed for its slate quarries ; but far more 
attractive is the wild and gloomy Pass of Glencoe, which leads up from it into one 
of the most savage parts of the Highlands, and rendered infamous by the treacherous 
murder of the MacDonalds at the instigation of a Campbell (1692). Oban, to the 
south of Loch Etive, is one of the great tourist head-quarters of Scotland. The 
district of Argyll lies to the east of Loch Awe, along the western shore of Loch 
Fyne, near whose head stand the village of Inverary and the Gothic mansion of the 
Duke. The claw-shaped peninsula of Cowal stretches south between Lochs Fyne 
and Long, and has on its eastern side, opposite to the mouth of the Clyde, the 
watering-town of Dunoon. 

Far away to the southward extends the narrow peninsula formed by the districts 
of Knapdale and Kintyre, the neck of which is cut across by the Crinan Canal — near 
whose eastern extremity are the villages of Lochgilphead and Ardrishaig — and which 
is almost sundered in its centre, where the two Lochs of Tarhert approach within a 
few hundred yards of each other. Near the southern extremity of this peninsula, 
in a district extensively peopled by Lowland farmers, stands Campbeltown, the 
largest town of the shire, famous above all other things for its whiskey. 

On the islands of Argyllshire — Eum, Coll, and Tiree in the north-west ; Mull 
and Colonsay in the centre ; Jura and Islay in the south-west — there is no place even 
deserving the name of a village, Tobermory in Mull being merely a fishing station, 
with an inn for tourists. 

121— E 



CHAPTER XV. 

IRELAND. 




General Features. 

RELAND and Great Britain form together a geographical unit. 
The latter, so elegant in its contours, is harmoniously balanced 
by the former, whose outline resembles that of a geometrical 
figure. Originally portions of the same continent, the two islands 
were severed in the course of geological ages without losing their 
family likeness. The geological formations exhibit the original continuity of the 
land, and the arm of the sea which separates the two islands exceeds only locally 
a depth of 50 fathoms. 

Washed by the same sea and bathed in the same atmosphere, the destinies of 
the inhabitants of the sister islands have been similar, and for centuries past they 
have been under the same government. But hitherto this political union has not 
brought about an intimate coalescence between the Irish and their neighbours of the 
larger island. On the contrary, there exist feelings of strong hostility, fostered 
by differences of religion, manners, and national traditions. The Irish look 
upon themselves as a conquered race, injured in its most sacred rights and 
interests, while the English, conscious of their power, have too frequently treated 
substantial Irish grievances with contempt. They, too, regard the Irish as a 
conquered people, not entitled to an independent government, owing to their lack 
of strength to enforce it.* 

Ireland has sometimes been called an English Poland, but two centuries have 
elapsed since the Irish were able to place an army in the field to fight for their 
alleged rights. Their divisions are too numerous to enable them to overthrow the 
existing Government, and many amongst them are attached to England through 
kinship, religion, and interest. Every attempt at a resurrection — even that of 1798, 
when 30,000 men took the field — has been promptly suppressed. But though 
England need no longer dread an open rebellion, she has nevertheless to contend 
with the sullen hostility of a majority amongst the inhabitants of the sister island 

* Froude, "The English in Ireland." 



IRELAND. 



379 



More than once the foreign policy of Great Britain has been hampered through the 
discontent animating Irishmen on both sides of the ocean. Nor can Englishmen 
shut their eyes to the fact that the institutions forced by them upon Ireland have 
yielded no favourable economical results. Within a few miles of the wealthiest 
island in the world there live the most wretched human beings in Plurope. In 
no other country has famine committed such ravages as on the fertile soil of 



Fig. 190.— Hypsographical Map of Ireland. 
Scale 1 : 4,500,000. 




lEiGHT JiBO/E SE/« LEVEL 



DEPTH OF SE4 



Over 1,640 Feet. 1,640 to 820 Feet. Under 820 Feet. Under 820 Feet. over 820 Feet. 

50 Mileb. 

Ireland, and no other country has poured forth so broad a stream of emigrants. 
Though nearly as densely peopled as France, Ireland is inferior in that respect to 
Great Britain, and still more so in its agriculture, industry, commerce, and 
material wealth. 



Ireland has a mean height of 400 feet,* and its shape is that of a diamond, with 

* Leipoldt, •' Ueber die mittlere Hohe Europas." 



880 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

its edges crumbled up. Most islands and peninsulas rise into a central point, or 
are traversed by a backbone of mountains ; but not so Ireland. The whole of the 
central portion of that island is occupied by a vast plain, nowhere more than 250 
feet above the sea-level.* All around this depression the country rises into hills 
and mountains, which form a ring-shaped rampart along the coast, through which 
wide breaches at intervals give access to the sea. The plain comprises about 
half the area of the island, and consists of regularly bedded carboniferous lime- 
stone, whilst most of the mountains which environ it are composed of granite, 
metamorphosed slates, and other ancient rocks. Geologically Ireland contrasts 
in a remarkable manner with England, for whilst in the latter the various 
formations succeed each other with regularity, and enable us to measure as it 
were the cycle of ages since the deposition of the oldest sedimentary rock, the 
western sister island presents the appearance of having been almost wholly built 
up and sculptured during the epochs which preceded the carboniferous. There are 
hardly any mesozoic rocks, and the more recent formations are only very sparingly 
represented in the volcanic region of North-western Ireland, between Lough Neagh 
and the North Channel. Ireland is geologically a much more ancient country 
than England, its age being the same as that of the Scotch Highlands and of 
Wales, from which it was severed by an irruption of the sea. 

The distribution of the mountain groups and the configuration of the coast 
explain in a measure the fate of the country. Though apparently compact in 
shape, Ireland nevertheless has no geographical centre. Its vast plain, extend- 
ing from the Bay of Dublin to that of Galway, and covered with bogs and a 
multitude of lakes, very distinctly separates its two upland regions. The region 
in the north-east, which is bounded by the Bays of Dundalk and Donegal, and 
juts out like a peninsula towards Scotland, is occupied by a distinct group of 
mountains, and forms the nucleus of the province of Ulster. Similarly Con- 
naught, in the north-west, has its separate system of mountains and lakes. 
Munster, in the south-west, and Leinster, in the south-east, are separated by 
the plain of Tipperary, whilst the greater portion of the central plain formed 
part of the ancient province of Meath. Each of these geographical provinces 
exercised a modifying influence upon the men by whom they were inhabited. 
Ulster was, above all, exposed to the incursions of the Scotch. Leinster 
and Meath appeared to be intended by nature to fall an easy prey to the 
English ; whilst Munster, on the open Atlantic, attracted Phoenicians, and later 
on Spaniards, Algerines, and French, to its hospitable bays. Connaught, the 
most remote of these provinces, afforded a last refuge to the indigenous popu- 
lations flying before conquering invaders. But, besides this, every separate group 
of mountains became a place of shelter to the conquered population dwelling 
around. The mountains of Galtymore in the south, and those of Tyrconnell in 
Donegal, have repeatedly afforded shelter to fugitives, and ancient customs long 
survived in their valleys after they had died out elsewhere. f 

* Edward Hull, "The Thysical Geology and Geography of Ireland." 
t Sullivan, "New Ireland." 



lEELAND. 



381 



The most elevated mountains of Ireland rise in the county of Kerry, but are 
inferior in height to the giants of Scotland, and even to Snowdon of Wales. 
They form parallel chains running in the same direction as the deep and 
narrow bays which penetrate that part of Ireland, and consist of old red sand- 
stone, whilst the valleys which open upon the sea are scooped out of the carboni- 
ferous formation. It can hardly be doubted that the whole of this reo-ion, 
mountains and all, was formerly occupied by the /formation which we now 



Fig. 191. — The Lakes of Killakney. 
Scale 1 : 130,000. 




2 Miles. 



see in the valleys, but through the action of ice and other causes which still 
sculpture the face of the land all salient points have been planed off. Moraines 
and polished rocks at the foot of the mountains bear witness to the existence of 
glaciers, and the delightful Lakes of Killarney, which contribute so much towards 
the beauty of the country, occupy the bed of one of these moving rivers of ice. 
The beauty of these lakes and of the surrounding hills attracts crowds of tourists, 
but the solitary rambler may derive greater pleasure from exploring the western 
slopes of the mountains. There he looks down, on the one hand, upon pro- 



882 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



montories, islands, and the open Atlantic, whilst on the other the view embraces 
verdant valleys, foaming torrents, and mountain- tops, streaked black with peat, 
or dyed white, yellow, or green by mosses. The contrasts of light and shade 
presented by the mountains enclosing Dingle Bay, Kenmare River, or Bantry 
Bay are rendered all the more striking through the varied tints of the rocks. 
Few landscapes in Ireland can compare with the valley of Glengariff, on the 
shore of Bantry Bay, for magnificence of contours, wealth of vegetation, or the 
wild grace exhibited in every feature of the ground.* 

The mountains of Kerry culminate in Carrantuohill (3,414 feet), in the 
Macgillicuddy Reeks. In the east they sink down into highlands, upon which 
rise at intervals a few hills. The river Blackwater runs along the northern 
foot of these hills until it abruptly turns to the south, and finds its way through 
a breach into Youghal Harbour. The hills which rise to the north of the 

Fig. 192. — Thr WicKLow Mountains. 




Blackwater are of considerable elevation, and really mountainous in appearance. 
They include the Knockmealdown (2,609 feet) and Comeragh Mountains (2,476 
feet). Farther north, and almost insulated, rises the pyramidal mass of the Galty- 
more (3,015 feet), with small black lakes almost choked with sedge in its recesses. 
The various groups of hills on both banks of the Middle Shannon are likewise 
ranged along axes running from west to east, and this parallelism in the arrange- 
ment of the mountains of South-western Ireland must evidently be traced to a general 
cause acting over a wide area. Slieve Bernagh (1,746 feet) and Slieve Aughty 
rise to the west of the Shannon ; the Silvermine Mountains, culminating in Keeper 
Hill (2,278 feet), Slieve Felim, and the Devil's-bit Mountain (1,586 feet) rise to the 
east ; whilst Slieve Bloom (1,733 feet) occupies the most central position of the 
Irish hills. 

The mountains of Wicklow do not, like those of Munster, include several 
distinct groups or ranges. They are of compact structure, and only on the south 

* Thackeray, " Irisli Sketch-Book." 



lEELAND. 



883 



does the valley of the Slaney separate them from a few outlying hills, including 
Mount Leinster (2,610 feet) and Blackstairs Mountain (2,409 feet). The nucleus 
of these mountains consists of granite, their axis of upheaval runs from south-west 
to north-east, and they culminate in Lugnaquilla (3,039 feet). Metamorphosed 
and other Silurian rocks conceal the base of the granite, and on the eastern slope 
an eruption of volcanic rocks has taken place. The mountain region of Wicklow, 
owing to the vicinity of the capital, is one of the most frequented in Ireland, as it 
is certainly one of the most beautiful. Lakes, cascades, and bold promontories 
overhanging the blue waters of the sea, ancient ruins and legendary lore, exercise 
an irresistible power of attraction. No spot in Britain has inspired more 
harmonious and sweeter verse than the " Meeting of the Waters " of the Avonmore 
and Avonbeg, which form the river Avoca. 

Far wilder, but no less beautiful than the Wicklow Mountains are the highlands 
of Connemara, which occupy a portion of the almost insular region surrounded by 
Galway Bay, the Atlantic, Clew Bay, and Loughs Mask and Corrib. These 
mountains, formed of granite and metamorphosed rocks, and the rugged table-land 
of Slieve Partry, or Joyce's Country, upon which their craggy summits look down, 
are amongst the most ancient of all Ireland. Wandering through this desolate 
region, we might almost fancy that we were living in the early days of our planet, so 
primitive is the aspect of the country, with its piled-up rocks, island-studded lakes, 
winding streams, and swampy bogs. These western highlands culminate in 
Muilrea (2,688 feet), at the mouth of Killary Harbour. Very similar in aspect are 
the mountains which fill Western Mayo to the north of Clew Bay, most conspicuous 
amongst which are Mount Nephin (2,646 feet), Nephin Beg (2,065 feet), and 
Croaghaun (2,192 feet), on Achill Island. 

The highlands of Donegal, which occupy the north-western corner of Ireland, 
are of Silurian age, and must be looked upon as a prolongation of the Highlands of 
Scotland. Granite occurs plentifully within them, and Mount Errigal, close to 
the shore of the Atlantic, rises to a height of 2,466 feet. Separated from Donegal 
by the valley of the Foyle rises the moorland tract of Derry called Sperrin 
Mountains (2,240 feet), which is geologically of the same age as the north-western 
highlands. 

Most recent amongst the mountains of Ireland are those of Mourne and 
Carlingford, which rise on either side of Carlingford Lough. Slieve Donard, a 
dome-shaped mass of granite rising from the margin of the sea to an elevation of 
2,796 feet, is an imposing object, but there is every reason to believe that formerly 
these mountains were much higher. They are penetrated by innumerable intrusive 
streaks and dykes of basalt, and E. Hull likens them to the roots of volcanic 
mountains the trunk and branches of which have been removed by denuding 
agents, just as if a mountain like Etna were to be cut down into a group of hills 
rising to little more than half its present height. 

Still more manifest is the action of volcanic forces in that part of North-eastern 
Ireland which lies between Lough Foyle, Lough Neagh, and Belfast Lough. 
This table-land of Antrim, above which Trostan Mountain rises to a height of 



884 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



1,817 feet, is almost wholly buried beneatli a sheet of lava of an average thickness 
of 100 feet. Its aspect possesses none of the picturesqueness that distinguishes 
the volcanic district of Auvergne, which is partly of the same tertiary age. There 
are neither cones nor cup- shaped craters, for these have been swept away by 
planing and levelling agents : wide tracts are almost perfectly level, and covered in 
many places with glacial drift. But the scenery is bold and striking wherever the 
table-land is bounded by noble escarpments, with precipitous flanks rising above 
the surrounding valleys or the sea. Along the shores of Lough Foyle, the lava 
rests upon softer cretaceous and triassic strata, and as these are undermined by the 
percolation of water from springs or by rains, the foundations give way, and 
the superstructure slips down the hillside, and lies a shapeless mass till it has 
been still further disintegrated by frost, rain, and streamlet, and carried away 
particle by particle into the ocean.* But elsewhere the lava rises boldly from the 

Fi^. 193. — The Giants' Causeway. 




sea in a series of terraces of dark columnar basalt, separated from each other 
by bands of reddish bole. At the bold promontory of Fair Head, or Benmore 
(630 feet), huge columns of basalt descend from the top of the cliff in one or two 
sheer vertical sweeps for several hundred feet, the base of the cliff being strewn 
with broken columns of trap heaped up in wild confusion. 

The Giants' Causeway, a pavement formed of the tops of 40,000 columns of 
basalt incessantly washed by the waves of the sea, is the most widely known 
amongst the natural curiosities of the coast of Antrim and of all Ireland. 
Geologists account for the marvellous regularity of these prisms by the large 
quantity of iron which they contain. About one-fourth of these crystallized 
masses consist of this metal, and this accounts for the extreme hardness of the 
basalt, the smoothness of its faces, its weight, its magnetic properties, and the 
* Edward Hull, " The Physical Geology and Geography of Ireland." 



IRELAND 



385 



rust which covers it. According to the legend, the Giants' Causeway is the 
remnant of a road which formerly led into Scotland, and, except that this 
highway was not constructed by human hands, the legend is true. The 
strait which now separates Ireland from Scotland, and which between Benmore 
and the Mull of Kin tyre has a width of only 14 miles, had no existence at the 
time when the volcanic agencies were most active. The sheets of lava extended 
then from shore to shore, just as the mountains of Donegal were connected 
with those of Scotland, with which they agree in geological formation and 
direction. Eathlin Island, which lies off the coast of Antrim, between Benmore 
and the Giants' Causeway, is a remnant of this ancient bridge of lava, and the 
cliffs which bound it are formed of gigantic columns of basalt. It has been 



Fig. 194.~The Giants' Causeway and Rathlin IsLAxn. 
Scale 1 : 250,000 




6- 30 



WnfG 



5°I0 



Depth lo 55 
Fathoms. 



2 Miles 



recently proposed to join, by means of a tunnel, the extreme point of Scotland at 
the Mull of Kintyre to the Irish coast at Cushendun Bay. Such a tunnel would not 
only be much shorter than that proposed for the Strait of Dover, but no danger 
whatever could arise during its construction from an irruption of the sea. 

The most elevated mountains of the Ireland of to-day are far from piercing 
the line of perennial snow, but there was a time when the whole of the country was 
buried beneath a sheet of ice and snow. The volcanic rocks of Antrim, which are 
partly covered with glacial drift, bear visible witness to the existence of glaciation, 
and there is hardly a locality of Ireland which does not exhibit traces of the 
ancient passage of glaciers. Boulder clay and gravels, erratic blocks, polished 
rock surfaces, all tell the same tale— that the island formerly resembled Greenland. 
The fine lines and groovings that mark the direction in which the ice sheets had 



386 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



moved have been carefully mapped, and they show that the ice travelled outwards 
from a great central snow- field which extended obliquely across the country, 
from the mountains of Connemara to the plateau of Antrim. To the north 
of this field of snow, which included the plateau of Magheraboy, with its hills 
grouped like the ribs of a fan, the groovings and striations are towards the north- 
west, whilst on the opposite slope their direction is south and south-west, except 
where the course of the ice was impeded or deflected by local mountain barriers. 
The sheet of ice which at that period covered the plains of Ireland had a thickness 
of 1,000 feet.* 

But long before the ice planed and levelled vast tracts of the surface of Ireland, 
the action of the water, operating through untold ages of our planet, had swept 



Fig. 195.— The Table-land of Magheraboy. 
Scale 1 : 200,000. 




W.of G. 




2 Miles. 



away a considerable portion of the surface strata. The plain which occupies 
nearly the whole of the centre of the island is a proof of this. The extent of this 
plain coincides pretty nearly with that of the carboniferous limestone, but the 
coal measures of this formation have been removed, and there remain as it 
were merely the foundations of the ancient edifices. Only here and there, in 
well- sheltered localities, a few shreds of the coal-bearing strata which formerly 
overspread so large, a portion of the island still exist. The agents of denuda- 
tion which deprived Ireland of her upper carboniferous strata were operative 
* Maxwell Close, " Glaciation of Ireland ; " Hull, "Physical Geology and Geography of Ireland." 



lEELAND. gg^ 

for many geological ages succeeding their deposition, during the whole of which 
the greater part of the island remained above the level of the sea. Evidence 
of local depression, such as is afforded by ancient peat bogs lying below the 
sea-level,* is not entirely wanting, but the raised sea-beaches and terraces of 
Antrim and Dublin are far more striking. The most continuous of these ancient 
terraces is that which can be traced from Antrim southward as far as Wicklow 
and upon which one of the wealthiest quarters of publin has been constructed. 
The average elevation of this ancient sea-beach is 15 feet, and it corresponds in a 
remarkable manner with the " 25-foot terrace " of Scotland, which, in Professor 
Geikie's opinion, may have been elevated into dry land since the Roman 
occupation of Britain. But whatever the extent of these local oscillations 
of the land, the bulk of the island remained emerged during the whole of the 
secondary and tertiary epochs. Whilst England, for the most part plunged 
beneath the ocean, successively received the sedimentary deposits which account 
for the variety of its geological formations, Ireland, on the contrary, was exposed 
to the wasting influence of sub-aerial agencies which destroyed its superficial 
strata. The waste resulting from this denudation was carried away by ocean 
currents to the sister island, and piled above the vast stores of coal already 
deposited over the English area, protecting them from sub-aerial waste on the 
emergence of the land. Thus Ireland stripped herself to clothe her sister. This 
debt, says Professor E. Hull, ought never to be forgotten. 

The prodigious number of lakes scattered over the surface of Ireland is the 
necessary consequence of the general configuration of the country. There are 
lakes in the glens of the mountains, or at their foot, but by far the greater 
number are to be met with in the plain. The rain falling over a level country 
soon fills up the depressions in the soil, and in many instances these disconnected 
sheets of water cover almost as great an area as the solid land which separates them, 
and it only needs a local subsidence or depression of the surface through the 
agency of a fault, or the formation of a barrier across the effluent draining them, 
to combine all these separate basins into a lake of more considerable size. Thus it 
was through the agency of a fault in the volcanic rocks that Lough Neagh was 
formed. That lake, although the largest in the British Islands — it covers 153 
square miles — is very shallow, and notwithstanding that its area is equal to two- 
thirds of that of the Lake of Geneva, its cubic contents only amount to the twenty- 
fourth part of those of the Swiss lake.f 

The majority of the lakes which form so prominent a feature of the limestone 
plain are of chemical origin. Their water contains carbonic acid gas, which dis- 
solves the limestone in which they are bedded, and carries away enormous quan- 
tities of carbonate of lime in solution. By this process the lakes are being 
constantly enlarged. We have elsewhere described some of the "sinks" and 
"swallows" met with in the calcareous regions of continental Europe. In 
Ireland, too, the same phenomena may be observed, though not perhaps on so 

* Kinahan, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, i. 1877. 
t Hardman, Journal of the Royal Geological Society of Ireland, iv. 



388 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



large a scale as in the mountains bordering upon the Adriatic. Sometimes it 
happens that the arch which covers one of the corroded hollows or channels gives 
way, and the chasm thus created may give birth to a lake, or lay open an under- 
ground river channel. It is thus that Lough Lene feeds both the Dell, a visible 
affluent of the Boyne, and an underground channel which communicates with a 
river flowing into Lough Ree. The great Lough Mask, which fills a rock basin 
in Connemara, has apparently no outlet, except through an artificial canal connect- 
ing it with the still larger Lough Corrib. But on closer examination it has 
been found that it is drained by an underground river, which reappears in copious 
springs at Cong. These springs, which immediately give birth to a large river, 



Fig. 196.— The Underground Emissary of Lough Mask. 
Scale 1 : 145,000. 




S'ao" U/o-f Gr. 



5 Miles. 



were formerly held in high veneration, and an abbey was built by their side. 
Several lakes, similar in all respects to that of Zirknitz, in the Carso, are to be 
met with in the fissured limestone region of Western Ireland. During summer 
they retire into underground cavities, and sheep browse upon the herbage which 
springs up on their bed ; but soon the rainfall causes the hidden water to rise again 
to the surface, the lake bed is once more filled, and sometimes it even overflows 
and inundates the country around. One of the turloughs, or winter lakes, of 
Galway occasionally expands until it is 2 miles wide.* 

But whilst some lakes, owing to the erosive action of the water, are perpetually 
* William Hughes, " Geography of the British Islands." 



IRELAND. 889 

enlarging their area, others grow smaller, and in the end disappear altogether, 
although they receive the same amount of rain as before, and have not been drained. 
Lakes of this kind are sucked up as it were by the vegetation by which they are 
invaded. Bogs, or wet spongy morasses formed of decayed vegetable matter, 
cover hundreds of square miles in Ireland, and frequently occupy the beds of 
ancient lakes, as is proved by the heaps of fresh-water shells found at their 
bottom. In many instances this process of displacement is still in course of 
progress. The lakes invaded by the marsh plants grow gradually smaller until 
they resemble wells, dangerous to the wanderer unaware of their existence. 
Occasionally, too, the spongy mass pours forth a stream of mud. This happens 
after heavy rains, which cause the bog to swell, until its coarse tissue of vegetable 
matter is no longer able to resist the pressure exercised from below. The gases 
shut in beneath the upper layers of turf then escape with a noise resembling that of a 
volcanic explosion, and streams of water and liquid mud rush out through the open- 
ing effected by them. One of these eruptions took place in 1821 in the peat bog of 
Kinalady, near Tullamore, about the centre of the great plain. Rumbling noises 
had been heard for some time from the bog, and its surface heaved like an agitated 
sea, when at length a torrent of mud, 60 feet in depth, burst from a crevice, 
overwhelmed the houses and trees that stood in its way, and spread itself over an 
area of 5 square miles.* Sometimes calamities of this kind result from a want 
of foresight on the part of peat-cutters. By removing the peat from the neigh- 
bourhood of a lake, the rampart which retains the still liquid mass that occupies 
the interior is sometimes weakened to such an extent as to be incapable of resisting 
the pressure from within, and an eruption of mud is the result. The history of 
Ireland abounds in instances of this kind. The wanderer who wends his way 
across the bogs can tell at once when he is passing over a concealed lake, for 
the soil beneath him quakes with every step he takes, and he feels as if he were 
walking upon a carpet stretched out in mid-air. 

The Irish bogs are amongst the most extensive in Europe, and even in the 
veenen of the Netherlands we do not meet with such wide tracts of almost 
deserted country, where mud cabins as black as the peat in the midst of which 
they rise are rare objects. The bogs of Ireland cover an area of 4,420 square miles ; 
that is, nearly the seventh part of the whole island, and in many instances they are 
40 feet thick. Those spread over the great central plain have an average 
thickness of 26 feet ; but supposing the available peat throughout Ireland to have 
a depth of no more than 6 feet, a reserve of fuel equal to 15,000,000,000 cubic 
yards lies on the surface. Peat is largely used in the country for domestic purposes, 
but cannot compete with mineral coal in factories. 

The Dutch bogs naturally divide themselves into hooge veenen and laage 
reenen, and similarly in Ireland we have red bogs and black bogs, according 
to the plants of which they are formed and their degree of moisture. The black 
hogs, which supply nearly all the peat, occupy the plain and the deeper valleys of 
the mountains. The vegetable matter of which they consist is undergoing gradual 

* Jacob Noggerath, " Der Torf." 



390 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

mineralisation, and the peat found here and there almost resembles lignite. They 
contain also the trunks of trees, known as bog- wood or black oak, from their 
ebony colour, which is due to an impregnation with iron. Some of these trunks 
dug up from the peat bogs have become so flexible in the course of their long 
immersion that they can be cut into straps and twisted into ropes. Formerly the 
peasants wove them into coarse nets, upon which they suspended their beds. 
Mr. Kinahan is of opinion that, to judge from the layer of bog which covered 
them, the trunks of oak dug up at Castleconnell, near the Shannon, must have 
been buried at least fifteen hundred years. 

The red bogs, owing to their position on the hillsides, are far less humid than 
the black ones, and for the most part clothed with patches of heath. Most of the 
mountains of Ireland are covered with bog from the foot to the summit ; even 
rocky precipices have every vantage-point occupied by patches of bright bog, 
presenting the appearance of hanging gardens. We may wander for days through 
the hills without ever quitting these red bogs, now and then alternating with 
quagmires. In several counties the hills seem to rise like islands above the vast 
expanse of black bog surrounding them. The peasants say that the wanderer 
in these deserts may chance to pick up a " hunger herb," in which case he runs a 
great risk of dying of exhaustion ; but they ascribe to the influence of a mysterious 
plant what in their state of poverty may often happen from sheer want. 

- The bogs and lakes scattered broadcast over the country store up an immense 
quantity of water ; but so considerable is the amount of rain that they are 
able to feed numerous rivers in addition. The water of many of these rivers 
is stained black with particles of humus ; and several amongst them, including 
that which enters Youghal Harbour on the south coast, are known as " Black- 
water." Indeed, the rivers of Ireland might be classified into white and black, 
as are those of the basin of the Amazonas, according to whether their waters 
contain tannin or not. All those which have a long course through bogs are of a 
darkish hue, but several purify themselves in their passage through large lakes. 

The streams which traverse the great limestone plain resemble chains of lakes 
rather than rivers. The normal rivers of Ireland, those which have filled up the 
ancient lake basins of their valleys, rise at a considerable elevation, and slope 
down rapidly and regularly to their mouth. Amongst such is the Barrow, which, 
after its junction with the Nore and Suir, falls into Waterford Harbour. Such 
also are the Lee and Blackwater in the south, the Slaney and Lifiey in the east. 
Even the Boyne, though rising in a region of swamps, has drained the ancient 
lakes which formerly occupied its basin. The Foyle, in the north, is also one of 
the rivers whose regimen has become regulated, whilst the Bann only traverses a 
single lake, Lough Neagh. Yery striking is the contrast between rivers such as 
these, and those which traverse the plain, sluggishly wandering from lake to lake. 
Among these latter are the rivers that drain the lakes of Connaught — the Erne, 
which is a lake-like expansion for the greater part of its course, and the Shannon, 
the most considerable river of all Ireland. 

The Owenmore, which drains the valley lying between Cuilcagh on the north 



IRELAND. 



391 



and Slieve JNTakilla on the south, and which flows into the head of Longh Allen, 
is the real head-stream of the Shannon, but popular tradition looks upon the 
Shannon Pot as the veritable source. This is a copious fountain rising in a lime- 
stone caldron, and fed by a subterranean channel which connects it with a lough 
at the base of Tiltibane. Scarcely formed, the river is lost in Lough Allen 



Fig. 197.— Upper Lough Ern|!. 
Scale 1 : 200,000. 





s^^£M^.d^ ^'<^^^ ^im-MK^^-^H 



7° 1 30' W.of Gr. 



2 Miles. 



(160 feet above the sea), and thence to its mouth, for a distance of 209 miles, 
the Shannon is navigable. On issuing from Lough Allen the river flows 
sluggishly for 80 miles over the central plain, passing through Lough Eee 
(122 feet) and Lough Derg (108 feet), when it enters the gorge of Xillaloe, 
separating Slieve Bernagh from Slieve Arra, and with a rapid fall reaches 
Limerick, where it becomes a tidal river. We may fairly ask how it happens 



392 



THE BRITISH ISLES. 



that the Shannon, instead of flowing straight into Galway Bay, from which no 
natural obstacle separates it, strikes across a mountain range formed of hard and 
solid rocks, through which it had laboriously to cut itself a passage. It is quite 
clear that the gorge of the Shannon is not a work of recent date ; it was scooped 
out long before the great central plain had been denuded of the masses of softer 
rocks which formerly covered it. Then this mountain range formed no obstacle, 
for the river flowed at an elevation of many hundred feet above its present channel. 
At that remote epoch it first began to scoop out the ravine through which 
it now takes its course, and the work of erosion kept pace with the denudation 
which swept away the coal measures of the great central plain. In this gorge, cut 

Fig. 198. — The Falls of Doonass, at Castleconnell. 




through Silurian slates and old red sandstone, the river has a rapid fell, and 
before it reaches the maritime plain pours its immense volume over a ledge of 
rocks. Castleconnell, with its lofty towers, fine mansions, and green lawns 
descending to the waterside, commands this sublime spectacle of a foaming river 
rushing onward through a congregation of huge rocks. The eye grows giddy 
as it follows the hurrying eddies. But, at the foot of the fall, all is peace. The 
deep and silent water, reflecting the trees that grow upon the banks, lies dormant ; 
the current is hardly perceptible ; and the river resembles a lake shut in by ivy- 
clad walls. 

Below Limerick the Shannon enters its broad and winding estuary — one of 



IRELAND. 



893 



those numerous indentations which vary the contour of Ireland's Atlantic coast. 
The western seaboard of Ireland, like that of Scotland, and for the same reasons, is 
far more indented than that facing the east. The bays of Leinster bear no com- 
parison with the firths of Scotland. Cork Harbour, with its winding passages and 
islands, is the only estuary along the south coast at all presenting the features of 
a Scotch loch. The north-eastern portion of the coast, which faces the Scotch 



Fig. 199.— The Mouth of the Shannon. 
From an Admii-alty Chart. Scale 1 : 178,000. 



S7 Z^&l^/'r'ii 



TheUgU on .S,-unrryl ,/,„„.t „ HcJ. 




2 Miles, 



peninsulas of Galloway and Kintyre, is more varied in outline, while the Loughs 
of Carlingford, Strangford, Belfast, and Larne penetrate far inland ; but it cannot 
compare with the Atlantic coast, where, between Malin Head, in Donegal, and 
Cape Clear, in the county of Cork, bays, creeks, and river estuaries rapidly succeed 
each other. There are islands, too, and all of them, whether they occur singly or 
in groups, are detached fragments of the mainland. They stud the bays, form 
outlying promontories, and give rise to a variety of landscape features, presenting 
122— E 



894 THE BEITISH ISLES. 

the greatest contrast to the uniform development of the east coast. On that side 
of Ireland there are but two islands, Lambay Island and Ireland's Eye, near 
Dublin Bay, besides the banks which mark the former extent of the coast, and 
terminate with the Tuskar Rock in the south. 

The reasons for this contrast must be looked for in glacial action ; for Western 
Ireland, which is exposed to the moisture-laden winds of the Atlantic, remained 
much longer buried beneath a sheet of ice and snow than the east, where the dry 
winds blowing from the continent exercised more influence. But other agencies 
have no doubt aided in the formation of these western firths. The elongated bays 
of Kerry, for instance, so remarkable for their parallelism, appear to have been 
scooped out by the chemical action of the waves, which dissolved the calcareous 
rocks of the valleys, but respected the old red sandstone forming the promontories. 
This chemical action is analogous to that which continually enlarges the lakes of 
the central plain. In several instances these Irish firths, like those of Scotland, 
terminate in lakes, as in the case of Ballinskelligs Bay, near the south- westernmost 
promontory of Kerry, at the head of which lies Lough Currane. In the same 
county of Kerry we meet with rocks which become calcined through the action of 
the sea. The cliffs of Bally bunion, which rise in crags and needles to a height of 
] 50 feet, are perforated by caverns at their foot. They enclose beds of bitumen 
and deposits of pyrites, which a landslip occasionally exposes to the action of the 
atmosphere. Whenever this happens the pyrites decompose spontaneously with a 
considerable evolution of heat, sufiicient to set fire to the bituminous rocks, and 
whilst the foot of the cliffs is then lashed by the waves, columns of smoke may be 
seen curling up from its summit.* 

The climate of Ireland' is essentially a maritime one, and even more humid 
than that of Great Britain. The rainfall throughout the island averages 
36 inches, and in the hills, which condense the moisture of the prevalent westerly 
winds, the amount of precipitation is more considerable still. No other country 
of Europe is so abundantly supplied with rain. Occasionally the downpour along 
the western coasts is so considerable that the sea, for a great distance from 
the land, becomes covered with a thick layer of fresh water. The fishermen drink 
this water, and naturalists may witness the curious spectacle of two superposed 
faunas — the one fluviatile, the other marine. The marine animals, on being brought 
into the surface water, become paralyzed, whilst the fluviatile ones are poisoned on 
being plunged into deep water. f Westerly and south-westerly winds prevail, and 
they are frequently of great violence. The American cyclones, in their progress 
to Europe, always pass over Ireland. Even the Irish Sea is exceptionally tem- 
pestuous, owing to these south-westerly winds and the conflicting tidal waves which 
meet within it. 

The extreme humidity of the climate exercises a retarding influence upon the 
harvest. Wheat is never cut before the beginning of September, and in excep- 

* William Ainsworth, " Caves of Ballybunion," 1834. 

t Edward Forbes, " Natural History of the European Seas." 



IRELAND 395 

tionally wet years its harvest has had to be postponed to the middle of October, 
whilst the oats have been as late as November. Under the same latitude in Russia 
the cereals are sown later and harvested a month or forty days earlier. Such is the 
contrast produced by differences of climate ! But these disadvantages are attended 
by corresponding privileges. The woods, meadows, fields, and gardens are clad 
with verdure throughout the year, and entitle Ireland to the epithets of " Green 
Erin " and the '' Emerald of the Seas." The rich verdure, murmuring streams in 
every valley, mists spread over the hillsides, and clouds scudding along the skies 
impart an aspect of sadness and placidity to nature which impresses the mind in the 
same manner as do the sweetly melancholic strains of Irish melody.* The equability 
of the climate enables many southern types of plants to flourish upon the island. 
The inhabitants of Mediterranean countries, when they visit the Lakes of Killarney, 
are surprised to see the strawberry-tree growing on the hillsides. Even in the 
north of the island winter in the valleys sheltered against northerly winds is very 
mild, the strawberry growing by the side of the cypress, as it does in Italy. 
Ireland, as respects a portion of its flora, forms part of Lusitania, for about 
ten species, including the arbutus, or strawberry-tree, are common to it and to the 
Azores, Madeira, Portugal, and the Cantabrian coast. This points to the fact that 
there was a time when Ireland formed part of territories now severed from it by 
an irruption of the sea. Almost every one of the islands along the west coast 
has a flora of its own, with which mingle plants from neighbouring botanical 
regions, t 

Ireland was formerly clad with forests, as is proved not only by the trunks of 
trees found in the bogs, but also by many geographical names, such as Derry, 
which means " Grove of Oaks." These forests disappeared in consequence of 
wars and maladministration. Even during the Middle Ages wood had become so 
scarce that in certain districts of the island it was cheaper to make the hoops for 
barrels of whalebone. In the west, and more especially in the county of Mayo, 
trees were so scarce about thirty years ago that the peasants imagined them to be 
huge vegetables. Ireland is poorer in species of plants and animals than Great 
Britain, and still more so than continental Europe, this being one of the penalties 
attached to an insular position. In Belgium, for instance, we meet with twenty- 
two species of reptiles ; in England with scarcely half that number ; in Ireland 
with only five. Forbes concludes that these animals migrated westward along 
the isthmus which formerly attached the British Islands to the continent. When 
the sea swept away the connecting land all of these animals had not yet emigrated, 
or, at all events, the colonies which they had planted were not numerous enough 
to resist destructive agencies. The Irish peasants — a very superstitious race — 
believe that serpents and toads formerly abounded on their island, but that 
St. Patrick destroyed them. The promontory from which he flung them into the 
sea is still pointed out, and although the experience of our zoological gardens 

* Thackeray, " Irish Sketch-Book. 

t G. nove, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, July, 1876; Charles Martins, Sevue des Deux- 
Mondes, 1st March, 1867. 



396 THE BRITISH ISLES. 

proves the contrary, the peasants maintain that every serpent dies as soon as it 
touches the soil of Ireland. Geologists have discovered in Ireland the remains 
of the mammoth and hippopotamus, and of numerous ruminants, including 
deer and two species of the ancient ox. Three species of deer have been 
discovered in the caves, peat mosses, and alluvial deposits of the country, 
of which the red deer survives in the mountains of Killarney, whilst the 
great Irish deer may have lived until towards the close of the twelfth century. 
The abundance of deer must be attributed to the absence of animals of the feline 
tribe, such as the hyena and cave lion ; and their only enemies were the wolf and 
the bear, against which fleetness of limb and the power of natation afforded 
trustworthy means of escape.* 

The relative poverty of the Irish fauna reveals itself in the paucity of birds of 
passage no less than in that of sedentary animals. Out of thirty species of con- 
tinental birds which pass the summer in England, all but one extend their 
journey as far as Scotland ; but, according to Harting, only eight or nine visit 
Ireland, the rest being either deterred by the width of the Irish Channel, or 
altogether unaware of the existence of that island. The magpie was formerly 
looked upon as a new arrival in Ireland. This is a mistake ; but that bird, being 
protected by superstition, has become very common, and during summer evenings 
dense flocks descend upon the sown fields. 

The People. 

In accordance with a tradition formerly often quoted, lerne, or Ireland, is 
indebted for its epithet of Insula Sacra to the fact that at the time of the 
Deluge it floated like an ark upon the surface of the waters, and on its subsidence 
gave their first inhabitants to the neighbouring islands. The Irish, therefore, 
not only deny that their ancestors came from foreign lands, but they claim also to 
have peopled all the neighbouring countries. As to the ancient monkish " annals " 
of the country, they abound in so many legends that it is next to impossible to 
discover the truth which underlies them. Irish chroniclers, who have endeavoured 
to transform the mythology of their race into a regular history with dates and 
genealogies, speak of the Firbolgs, or "men dressed in the skins of animals," as 
the aboriginal inhabitants of the country. These " beings of the night " were 
conquered by the " gods of day," or Tuatha-de-dananns, who were the people of 
Dana, the mother of the gods.f These latter were acquainted with the metals, 
and they made arms, tools, and musical instruments. But the Tuatha-de- 
dananns were vanquished in turn by a third body of invaders, the warlike 
" Milesians " of Spain, who came into the country eleven or fourteen centuries 
before Christ, and overthrew the kingdom of Inis- Fail, the "Island of Doom." 
The descendants of these Milesians, it is pretended, can be recognised, even at the 
present day, by having an 0' or a Mac prefixed to their family names. It is only 
natural that a proud people like the Irish, in its day of humiliation, should 

*Hull, "Ph